Updated: Friday, 5th June 2020 @ 4:07pm

Young Salford transgender man hopes power of music can lessen social disapproval and discrimination

Young Salford transgender man hopes power of music can lessen social disapproval and discrimination

By Ross McLean

A Salford transgender man is producing a music video in a bid to promote better understanding of issues affecting the community.

Alfie Austin, 19, was born female but at the age of 17 realised he was a young man trapped in a woman’s body.

After coming out at 18, he now studies music production in Manchester and hopes producing a video will help generate more understanding and respect about the subject.

“To be given the opportunity to actually do something about the issue is really elating,” he said. 

“I am able to take action and not just sit there feeling useless.”

Transgendered people are more likely to experience mental distress due to social disapproval and discrimination.

Consequently, they are at greater risk of depression, self-harm and suicide – a 2007 survey of 872 transgendered people found that 34% of respondents had considered taking their own life.

“There is a lot of ignorance surrounding the trans community and a lot of people think it is ok to bully trans people,” he added.

“Even if they don’t believe it’s bullying – at the end of the day it is and it affects people in ways that can even lead to death.”

Since announcing his lifestyle change, things have not been plain sailing and the 19-year-old has had to overcome a number of challenges.

During a night out, he was refused entry to a male toilet as the attendant thought he was female and was then ejected from the female toilets by a bouncer.

“It was so embarrassing,” he said.

“I went to the owner who told me to use whichever I felt comfortable in but didn’t take responsibility for what happened or advise his staff to let me use the men’s.

“I ended up having to go home.”

Alfie now works with the award-winning Fixers project – a national movement supporting thousands of 16 to 25-year-olds across the UK to take action and address issues they feel strongly about.

Fixers has supported nearly 7,000 young people and – with a £7.2 million Big Lottery Fund grant – aims to help a further 20,000 over three years.

Going forward, Alfie aims to create awareness of the transgender community and lessen stereotypical views by highlighting his own experiences.

“My coming out as trans has been met with mixed emotions, I have lost friends as well as feeling like the odd one out,” he said.

“I would love the opportunity to tell my story and to help others in a similar situation to me.”

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