So, your friend came out as trans* and you are open to all kinds of people, you just don’t know where to start. Your head is filled with question and you don’t want to offend or be insensitive. Well here are a few pointers to being a trans* ally, most of which come from personal experience.
- Don’t make jokes when they talk about a part of themselves you don’t understand. Especially if they are self self conscious of their identity. Wait for them to make the first joke and even then be cautious.
- If they are transmasculine dont talk about their feminine body traits, refrain from comments like “you’re such a girl”. If are transfeminine don’t talk about their masculine body traits, refrain from saying stuff along the lines of “you’re such a boy”. To trans* people it is almost like an attack on ones identity, even if you didn’t mean it as such and can trigger gender dysphoria.
- Use preferred pronouns. He/she/ze/their, it doesn’t matter the pronoun, if they ask you to use it, do your best to use it. If you mess up with it, move on, apologize and don’t make a big deal of it.
- Let them tell you their plans. Dont expect them to have SRS or HRT. Many trans* people don’t want to transition hormonally or surgically, as they are very big moves in their lives.
- Try to make a more gender inclusive environment for them. Refrain from “girls vs boys” situations.
- Be supportive of their choices. Its a long process of deciding how you want to express your gender, especially for non-binary. Don’t expect anything out their identity (if they are a trans woman, they don’t have to wear dresses/ be super “girly”) and let them do what they want. Side note: Let everyone wear what they want, don’t judge, boys can wear dresses.
Those are just a few, feel free to ask me anything about trans* identities or situations. I dont know everything, but I do have personal experience.