PROUDLY TRANS… SAGA BECKER
She looks calm and collected, clad in an all black outfit, she appears fierce and ready to take on the world with her radical spirit. The name Saga Becker, the Trans* revolution and the LGBTQ movement in Sweden cannot be separated. Queerstion media Editor Miles Tanhira had the opportunity to interview the Swedish Transgender actress,role model and director of Something Must Break (2014) for which she was nominated for a Rising Star Award at the Stockholm Film Festival in 2014. She also won a Guldbagge Award for Best Female Lead Role in 2015. Becker is also an ambassador for Suicide Zero, an organisation working to prevent suicide in Sweden.
My work is political and so is my whole existence, it is just a part of me i cannot separate my life and my work. It is everyday experiences that shape my work and my life. Everything i work with or create is about queer people. A greater part of my work involves addressing issues relating to mental health and LGBTQ people in society.
I never had role models when i was young because images of trans people in society or media where not a common sight. I want to change that for the youth today, i strive to be that role model i never had. I use every platform availed to me to represent but also to give my friends who do not have that platform space to be seen and heard.
Why TRANS representation matters
If you do not feel represented or seen in a community, you start to question your own existence, you are invisible and become a minority. Such a situation breeds isolation, a feeling that many transgender people get when their voices and images are lacking in the mainstream in society. This is why our stories and voices as transgender people are important to change that landscape. When we are seen and heard even those that are scared will also get inspiration just knowing they are not alone. When people are inspired they openly speak out and become more visible, visibility saves lives.
On classism, racism in Sweden
These are important issues in our society and even within the LGBTQ community. Sweden is often portrayed in this sanitised image as a great country with no transphobia or racism yet the reality speaks otherwise. Part of my perspective in articles i have written is that it is important to check our own privileges and prejudices and self-reflect on these issues. We all have to be conscious about how racism, classism can affect our movement. We can all do better.
Experiences of Transphobia and violence
Even here in Sweden Trans* people are scared of violence in society and even family. Personally i have experienced violence especially when people know who i am or when someone questions if i am male or female. I constantly have to think about how i look or dress depending on where i am going. I don’t get much violence lately because i have also chosen my safety net, i hang around people i feel safe with.
I am not afraid, but i am aware of what can happen. It is exhausting to always think about being safe, but i have to because know i can never be 100 percent safe everywhere all the time.
On Trans Wellbeing
This is important because being trans is exhausting you constantly have to think about security, about your health about your life. All this takes a toll on your mental health and wellbeing. This is why i am involved in Suicide Zero an organisation working to minimise suicide, my focus is on LGBTQ people.
Trans Movement strengthening and collective LGBT organising
As Trans* people we are never taken seriously within the broader LGBTQ movement , thats is why we have to question our position in the movement and have to split at some point. Looking at the past, we have seen the erasure of trans voices from the narrative of the broader LGBT organising yet it was trans people who led the LGBTQ movement since stonewall. Trans representation is crucial, it matters.
Inspired to inspire
The people i come in contact with say they are inspired by my work. I get the feeling people have been waiting for this, my work in creating conversations and culture around Trans* issues. This give me hope ,courage and inspiration to do more work.
About the Future
I have plans for more artwork and 2018 looks promising, i miss blogging as i used to for SVT it gives me the power to freely express myself on a virtual platform while connecting with various people.
To relax: I watch game of thrones whole 2 seasons , music, books cultural stuff
My message: Get in touch with people that inspire you, and also be with the people whom feel you inspire them.
My dream: I wish i can wake up one day and not be political , not have to worry about the world and all this violence, discrimination , hate and inequality . A day when i can just wake up peacefully go about my life calmly and happily.