- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.