Cora Love: Being an Ally

In this video, Cora Love discusses was non-trans people can show respect and be inclusive toward the transgender community.


What is an ally? Allies are people who recognize the unearned privilege they receive from society’s patterns of injustice and take responsibility for changing these patterns. Allies include men who work to end sexism, white people who work to end racism, heterosexual people who work to end heterosexism, able-bodied people who work to end ableism, and so on. For this video, an ally means a non-trans person who works toward trans visibility and ending transphobia, which causes violence and a loss of rights for many.
 

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Being an Ally?

Reflecting on Being an Ally

The following questions are based on Cora Love's video, "Being an Ally". Discuss them in a group or reflect on them individually.


Extra wide cora love

Take what you learned from Cora Love's "Being an Ally" and spend more time reflecting on the ideas she presents. Use these questions for your own reflection or bring them to a group conversation. Learn, Reflect, Grow.
 

  • Why is it important to ask trans folks about their preferred gender pronouns, even if it is awkward for you?
     
  • How can we show respect and offer acceptance to all people, especially the trans community?
     
  • Based on a 2012 study, only 4% of transgender youth with support attempted suicide compared to 57% of transgender youth without support attempted suicide. What do these statistics suggest about the need to show acceptance and support to the trans community?
     
  • Part of being an ally is recognizing unearned privilege. In your daily life, what steps can you take to be more aware of the privilege you have? How can this recognition allow you to show respect to the trans community and other disenfranchised groups? 

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Being an Ally?

Take Action


6 Tips for Being a Transgender Ally

Use these six tips as a guide to work toward becoming an ally for the transgender community.


  1. Listen to the experiences of transgender people. Being an ally means taking the time to research and understand the real issues of people who don’t have the privilege that you have.
  2. Know the facts. Learn about issues particular to the trans community. Check out these infographics to learn more facts about the transgender community and the issues they deal with.
  3. Don’t make assumptions. You can’t tell if someone is transgender just by looking and you can’t assume a person’s sexual orientation.
  4. Ask about preferred pronouns and know the terms. The trans community prefers people ask about their personal pronouns because it is important to affirm how someone self-identifies.
  5. Use respectful language and understand there is no “one size fits all” terminology. Each trans person is an individual and identifies in their own way. Don’t assume one trans person identifies or uses the same language as another person.
  6. Don’t ask invasive questions. While questions may come from a place of concern, curiosity can be hurtful to a trans person. For example, anything regarding sex reassignment surgery or time of transition is extremely personal to a trans person. An ally waits to be invited into these conversations or never asks about these at all.
     

This is by no means exhaustive, but a starting place in becoming an ally for the trans community. If you want to learn more about how to be an ally to transgender people, listen to those in the trans community or check out different lists that can provide more information. Here is a helpful and thorough guide to being an ally.

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Being an Ally?

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