It’s come to my attention that a lot of us still have our heads up our asses. I’d like to try to help rectify this.
Calling yourself a trans* ally means jack shit unless you’re educated. I’m not gonna claim to be perfect, but I’m at least gonna throw out a few pointers for people who are either really new to any of it or haven’t had anyone tell them they’re being stupid.
Here we go.
1. ALWAYS ASK BEFORE YOU ASK ANYTHING.
“Can I ask you something personal?”
“Do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions about being trans*?”
“Hey, I understand if you don’t want to talk about it, but can I ask you something?”
Etc, etc, etc.
People don’t just come up and start asking you why you’re cis-gendered/about your experiences being cis-gendered/any other questions that are TOTALLY personal, right? Nobody says, “Hey, what made you decide you’re a woman?”
Don’t be that stupid chick from Mean Girls. And if you don’t get that reference, I’m disappointed.
2. TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.
If they don’t want to answer your question, don’t badger them on. Telling them they SHOULD answer you’re questions because they’re part of the trans* community is fucking stupid. They don’t have to tell you jack shit if they don’t want to.
Which brings me to my next point.
3. GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND.
Google doesn’t know all of the answers, but it might give you some answers to hold you off in case your trans* friend doesn’t want to answer your questions. You can find message boards, forums, informative websites, tons of stuff that’ll be just as helpful as asking your friend.
But don’t assume that everything on the internet is how shit goes. No two trans* people are alike. But it’ll give you some kind of idea. You can always ask your friend if they know of any websites that could help answer your questions, too.
4. DO NOT OUT THEM TO ANYBODY.
I don’t care if the person you’re talking to is a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew, teacher, significant other, medical personnel, police officer, judge, inmate, person you’re never going to see again, or if they’re holding a gun to you or anyone else’s head.
DON’T OUT THEM. EVER. That should be number fucking one.
5. Don’t say things like, “I know how you feel because…”
Unless you’re trans*, you don’t know what it’s like to be trans*. End of story.
6. THEY DON’T NEED YOU TO BE THEIR HERO.
You don’t get to parade around telling people you know everything and acting like you need to be the person’s personal body guard. Chances are, they don’t want someone to stand up for them all the time.
Granted, if they’re being beaten up, you might want to step in and help them. Unless they’re winning.
7. NEVER QUESTION WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU THEY’RE TRANS* UNTIL THEY TELL YOU THEMSELVES.
I won’t lie, I’ve been guilty of this before. Then I pulled my head out of my ass.
I don’t care what you think the person’s after. Until they tell you that they’re not trans*, don’t assume they aren’t for any reason.
That’s all I’m gonna put out there for now. As I said before I started this, I don’t know everything. I’m never gonna know everything.
That being said, go ahead and ask me questions about being an ally if you want to. Asking me shit about being trans* won’t get you very far. I only know what I know from having a friend who’s trans* and from stuff I’ve found online, but as I said, no two trans* people are alike.
And to anyone who’s trans*, I hope this doesn’t offend. If there’s anything offensive on here, let me know and I’ll take it down.
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