Thank you for reading this and learning about, supporting, and being an ally to the transgender community. I have cultivated a list of things to watch, read, donate to, or join me in doing to support the trans community! With all of the recent homophobic and transphobic legislation on top of the other daily struggles the queer and trans community face, this year’s day of visibility feels more important than ever.
Before diving in, remember that kindness, respect, and inclusivity are what all queer and trans folx seek. We have all had to deal with conversations around identity in one way or another, and we all know how emotional and overwhelming it can be. I first wanted to start with a short guide on some dos and don’ts with the trans community.
- When introducing yourself, mention your pronouns and ask others if they feel comfortable sharing theirs. This can offer a safe space for those who need it or show your support for the trans community.
- Correct yourself if you misuse someone’s pronouns.
- “She emailed me yesterday–sorry, he emailed me yesterday and told me he would meet us here!” There is no need to make a big deal; correct it and keep going.
- Continue to use someone’s preferred pronouns (and name if appropriate) even when they are not around.
- First and foremost, please don’t out someone! Transphobia is very much alive and violent. Outing someone as trans can be risky, dangerous, and upsetting.
- “Did you know Sarah used to be a boy? I know she doesn’t even look like it! Good for her.” Being trans is something to be proud of, but it is up to the individual in question to share that information.
- Don’t ask someone what their dead name is, what their genitalia is or was.
- Don’t ask invasive questions you would not want to answer.
- Don’t assume you know someone’s pronouns. It is polite to ask, and asking is a sign of allyship we appreciate.
- Don’t leave trans people out of the conversation. Conversations about the LGBTQ+ community are intersectional. Including all identities is important!
- Don’t condone transphobia or be a bystander. If you see someone being misgendered or in an uncomfortable situation, it is appropriate to say something or stand with them.
- Person A: “Earlier in the meeting, he said he should have it done later today, right?” Person B: “Just a reminder, they use they/them/theirs pronouns. But yes, you’re right; I think they said they would have it done later today.” Kindness and gentle reminders work wonders!
What Can You Do Today?
- Disclosure (Stream here) is a phenomenal documentary about trans history, the intersectionality of the trans community, and so much more. Trans activist and #OutLEADER Tiq Milan is featured in this, along with many other trans public figures I have turned to for comfort and education. It’s incredibly beautiful. It’s about two hours long and an invaluable resource. It talks a lot about trans representation, its history of intersectionality, the stereotypes that have caused decades of violence, and the beauty and comfort of living life as your true self. (I recommend it!!!!)
- Trans men and cis men have a conversation: A 45-minute video about masculinity/gender/sexuality/ in modern America. This is an accurate representation of the kinds of conversations that many trans people have to have all the time defending themselves or nitpicking their identity and what makes them “real men.”
- Euphoria Special Episode on HBO Max: Stream it here. This was a one-off episode, written mainly by Hunter Schafer, an out trans woman (actor and model) who talks about her relationship to gender, femininity, and many other variables affecting her transition. While some of the episode talks about what has happened in the previous episode, it is a beautiful piece of film to watch as a standalone. It is an excellent example of what Gen Z is seeing in the media targeting us with queer and trans representation.
Note from the author: If you have any other resources, questions, or want to facilitate conversations, I am delighted to be a part of that with you. Being queer and trans are two of my favorite things about my life and today feels like a day I get to celebrate myself with the love and support of those around me. Working in this community means just as much as giving back to it, so thank you for educating yourself.