Hello, I’m Bez. I like my name as it’s ambiguous, so people can’t make assumptions about my gender or my ethnic origin. I use the pronoun ‘they’ when referring to myself in the third person.
When we meet, think about or talk about someone, we may have no idea of their assigned gender at birth, actual gender, race, disability, sexuality, parental status or many other attributes. Yet we constantly make assumptions about people based on what they look like, their name and their voice.
This can cause much upset, when, for example, masculine looking women are taken for men, trans men are taken for women, bisexual people are taken for gay, or mixed race people are taken for white or black. 8 times out of 10, I’m taken for white English, despite being half Indian, a quarter Irish and a quarter don’t know.
Ignoring diversity means that many workplaces, eateries, entertainment venues and events don’t cater for trans people, people with health conditions and people with children.
It’s 2019. I want to work towards a society where no assumptions are made about people just because of their physical appearance, name, voice and what society perceives as ‘the norm’. A society where diversity is celebrated.
In the meantime, however, we live in a society where people do make assumptions about a person’s gender, race, disability, sexuality, parental status and other attributes, whether in real life, in the media or in literature. A society in which diversity is often erased or simply tolerated.
I’m pleased that some recent theatre and TV shows are challenging this. But I can’t be myself in our society unless I use the name and pronouns I feel comfortable with, unless I challenge people’s assumptions and unless I advocate for positive change.
I’ve always found it immensely frustrating when people make assumptions about me because they read me as a binary gender, in all spheres of life. It makes me feel that I am pushing at a brick wall, which only occasionally moves, and it is very tiring.
We are all free and we are allowed to be ourselves. I encourage everyone reading this to consider whether there is more you can do to be yourself? It’s really fun being yourself! It’s really not fun pretending to be someone you’re not, just to try and please other people.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me and continues to support me on my journey. Your love and enthusiasm has been overwhelming. It’s tough but it’s totally worth it ❤ ❤ ❤