By Sophie Perry
A trans activist is launching a new campaign to tackle unhealthy beauty standards within the transgender and non-binary community, as well as to educate wider society about the transgender experience.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the variety of transgender and non-binary experiences and bring attention to the negative effects of ‘passing’ as a gendered beauty standard and body ideal.
Eva said: “Although ‘passing’ does provide safety and gender affirmation for trans people.
“It also creates division within the community and puts negative pressure on people’s mental health and finances.”
She said: “It really breaks my heart seeing that sort of divide within the community because, at the end of the day, we are all trans.
“We should be, as a community, standing firm together as a united group against the people who hate or misjudge us, rather than bitching amongst ourselves about who has the better body or make-up.”
LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall defines ‘passing’ as a term used to describe ‘If someone is regarded, at a glance, to be a cisgender man or cisgender woman.
Cisgender refers to someone whose gender identity matches the sex they were ‘assigned’ at birth. This might include physical gender cues (hair or clothing) and/or behaviour which is historically or culturally associated with a particular gender’.
Eva described how the beauty ideal of ‘passing’ is creating a hierarchy within the transgender and non-binary community, as there are those who ‘pass’ “really well” and those “who do not pass at all”.
Such divisions are often caused by genetic or social factors that people cannot help, such as being unable to afford medical or cosmetic surgeries.
To get involved with the campaign Eva is asking trans and non-binary people and their allies to use the #PassItOn hashtag to open up a conversation around ‘passing’. This can include posting photos, statements, poems, open letters, or videos on social media using the hashtag.
To help promote the campaign Eva has teamed up with Birmingham-based LGBTQ+ platform Unite UK.
Charlotte Summers, founder of Unite UK, describes working with Eva as “a dream to work with such a creative and passionate soul”.
She said: “This campaign is reclaiming something that previously has been used against the trans community and celebrating the journeys they encompass. It represents the strength, resilience, and beauty within the community, and we are so proud to be a part of it.
“We open our platforms to be used by the trans community to have their voices shared, without any bias. The #PassItOn Campaign supports our existing work whilst hoping to always improve our ability to share the stories of LGBTQ+ members.”