LOWIE TREVENA (THEY/THEM)
"Hey! I'm a non-binary person!! I like coffee, cats and spring!
I'm a queer journalist living and working in Bristol. I am currently working for Bristol24/7 and have bylines in publications including Metro UK, Rife magazine and Circus Journal."
"For a broad definition, someone who identifies as being non-binary feels as though their gender does not fit into the neat boxes of male and female. Most, but not all, non-binary people also identify as transgender, as their gender does not match the one they were assigned at birth.
After speaking on the radio and having a positive reception, I want to continue creating a positive, constructive conversation about trans and non-binary people. We are the people you walk by in Cabot Circus, the people you bump into in Bristol Sweet Mart, a friend you meet for an after-work drink at the Watershed.
We are not freaks or ‘snowflakes’, we are people who have finally learnt the language to identify in the way we have always felt. We are your sibling, colleague, child. We are the same as you."
"Non-binary genders have existed for millennia, but colonialism and destruction of LGBTQ+ history has hidden gender non-conformity from the Western world.
I came out on the eve of my 18th birthday in a Facebook post. It wasn’t a magical moment or one that meant my story was over.
I moved to Bristol as soon as I could, escaping my small town and its small minds, to only discover that, even in the most accepting of places, my gender is so often looked down upon.
I’m still misgendered on a daily basis, despite being a loud voice in Bristol’s queer scene, and there is still so much work to be done in ensuring all LGBTQ+ people, especially trans people, and especially trans women and queer people of colour, are accepted in a city built on racism, and in a society filled with trans exclusionary radical feminists.
And my small-town history hasn’t just disappeared. My parents are the only people still using my birth name. When I visited for Christmas with my partner and we held hands, we were worried about violence directed at us. I still have ingrained transphobia and homophobia, not only thanks to society, but deep-seated by small-town thinking.
"I have the shadow of my hometown following me whenever I declare my queerness, the side eyes of Daily Mail readers and sighs of my parents."
"Through working at Bristol24/7, I am lucky enough to meet people from all walks of life and through my additional role as LGBTQ+ Editor, I get to meet people from across the city’s queer community.
Through the people I’ve met, from a trans hairdresser to a gay holistic massage therapist, I know that the LGBTQ+ community in the city is a welcoming and accepting one – not only for lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and questioning people, but those who identify in any way outside of the cisgender, heterosexual ‘norm’. I believe that this is reflected within Bristol more widely.
I did not grow up here. I moved two days before my 20th birthday and utterly fell in love with the city I am lucky enough to call home. I love the neighbourhoods, events and, most of all, I love the people.
I have never felt so accepted and welcomed with opened arms, from anybody and everybody. In challenging times, I hope that Bristol can continue to be a loving and caring city, for non-binary people, those in the wider LGBTQ+ community and everybody else."
"So often, being transgender is viewed through one lens: an inherent feeling of being in the “wrong body”.
It might be the case for some, but the “little boy who wears dresses at two years old turns out to be a girl” is not how being trans is for most.
For me, being trans has been a complicated journey, intertwined with outdated language, eating disorders and rejection.
Transness is a Zoom waiting room. Transness is two sides of a coin. Transness is finishing the second book in a trilogy...
While I work to ensure trans people aren’t just accepted, but loved, in Bristol, I am acutely aware of the LGBTQ+ kids, and especially trans kids, in their Tory towns of middle England.
I want to say to you, and to my younger self: You aren’t alone. I love you, you are loved. It will be okay."