How to be a good ally

7 things to think of

1) If you are a close friend of mine, you might get all sorts of weird and awkward questions that other people don’t dare to confront me with. Be prepared for cock- and crotch- questions. Either you tell the questioner to fuck off, or you you can refer to this FAQ and and let them do their own homework.

2) Act as you used to before, when you talk to or hang out with me. I haven’t changed as a person. I’m still interested in everything we usually talked about. I don’t expect that my change of name and pronoun will change my relationships very much. But change can be difficult and if you worry about this, please let me know and we’ll sort it out.

3) Use the right name and pronoun. Don’t be embarrassed about it if you make a mistake. Don’t apologize, just keep talking like nothing had happen. When someone else accidentally uses the wrong name or pronoun – don’t interrupt them. As I said, it is OK to make a mistake.

4) Don’t ever out a transperson. It may invalidate their identity and expose them to hate crime. I’m not worried about it myself but be aware of your surroundings when discussing trans issues with other transgenderd people. They may prefer not to discuss these topics in public places or among strangers.

5) Don’t assume the only way to transition is through hormones and surgery or that all transgenderd people feel “trapped in the wrong body”. This is an oversimplification and not the way all transgenderd people feel. Not everyone want hormones or surgery, or to transition at all.

6) Don’t ask me or other transgenderd people to educate you.  Understand that there is a difference between talking to individuals about their preferences and forcing someone to be your educator. Try not to view individuals as spokespeople.

7) Recognize transphobia. Transphobia is equally oppressive and works together with sexism, homophobia, racism etc. You might feel bad about transgender issues yourself, even if you want to be understanding and accepting. Think about what makes you uncomfortable and why.

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One thought on “How to be a good ally

  1. Pingback: Facing transphobia – how to be my ally | All you need to know.

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