Pride of the North West: Marilyn opens up about the transphobia she has faced as a non-binary femme

A woman from Buxton has opened up about the homophobia and transphobia she faced growing up.

Marilyn Kelly is a queer non-binary trans femme DJ. She is someone that identifies as existing outside of a pre-existing gender binary, but exists as a femme person.

Marilyn's pronouns are she/her/they/them, but she mainly uses she and her.

Because she has always been quite feminine from early on in her life, she didn't have to come out.

She said: "If you ever met me as a child, you would have tweaked quite early on that I wasn't a boy.

"I've always been someone who is very femme and someone who has always identified as femme and so I don't think I never came out.

She continued: "As I got older I just found that there was language that met my experience."

Marilyn grew up under the eye of a lot of homophobia and transphobia. One of the most distinctive memories she had was having a police protection order on her house.

She said: "People used to try and put our windows in, we had the house egged, we had threats screamed out the window so it took me a long time to feel safe to be out, let alone to be safe to be out and have friends."

She said that it wasn't until she moved to Manchester for university about 10 years ago that she really found friends and connected with the queer community.

She said: "From then on it was great. I have a gorgeous community now, I have so many people that love me and so many people that I love."

How does Marilyn celebrate pride?

"I celebrate pride by living authentically every single day. It isn't just one messy weekend with a boy band from the 90s, it's a process.

"Everyday that anyone who is queer steps out of the house confidently and happily, knowing themselves and loving themselves is an act of pride.

"And so for me, I celebrate pride by loving myself and my community, looking after myself and my community, by fighting for my community and I think it's a year round thing."

Why is coming out still important?

"I think as opposed to coming out 10 years ago and people coming out now, I think we have to be really careful not to assume that coming out is always an and safe easy process.

"Anytime someone comes out, it's a time to celebrate because it's such a radical act."

She continued: "It should matter because it's such a gorgeous experience and such an important celebration of self."

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