I have been a longtime admirer of theatre maker Travis Alabanza, so when I had the chance to interview them for The Irish Times, I leapt at the opportunity. Below is an excerpt from the article.
In April 2016, Travis Alabanza was walking across Waterloo Bridge in London, surrounded by people, when a man called them a transphobic slur and threw a burger at them. Nobody intervened. Nobody stopped the man who threw the burger. Nobody did anything.
This is just one of many transphobic incidents Alabanza has faced over the years. Alabanza – who is gender non-conforming and uses they/them pronouns – was so used to being mistreated in public that they didn’t even bat an eyelid when they had a burger thrown at them.
“I tried to push it out of my mind,” Alabanza says. “Then two weeks later, I was looking at my dress and it still had the stain of the mayonnaise on it. I was like, ‘Why is it that I’m having a burger thrown at me, and for some reason I’m just carrying on?’ I realised that – as a gender non-conforming person, as a trans person – I was so used to the harassment I was experiencing that even the quite ridiculous event of a burger being thrown at me didn’t stop me in my tracks.”