With all the positive press that transgender people are getting we need to make sure we never lose focus on how easy it still is to hurt a transgender person’s feelings or even worse put their life in jeopardy. Bigotry is alive and well and there is also a lot of unintentional bigotry out there too as people often don’t know what they should or shouldn’t ask or say to a transgender person. Here are ten sure fire ways to hurt our feelings and it is up to you if you use them against us or to make your dealings with your friendly neighborhood transgender person much easier.
Improper pronoun use – calling a transgender person by the incorrect pronouns is a sure fire way to trigger their dysphoria (discomfort in their body) and ruin their day. Not all transgender people have passing privilege and in some cases it is obvious that you are dealing with a transgender person. Using the wrong pronoun can be mean and, even if it is accidental, hurtful. If you are confused about someone’s desired pronouns, it is okay to ask which pronouns they prefer. Never call a transgender person an ‘it.’
Ask them about what is between their legs – whatever genitalia is between a person’s legs is absolutely in no way any of your business. It really should bear no relevance to how you deal with that individual. The only exception is if you are dating a transgender person then you certainly have a right to ask.
Make fun of their voice – The voice is an area that transgender people struggle with more than almost any other aspect of transition. They are self conscious of their voice almost all the time. During transition their voices will be changing and point this out or mocking squeaks or any other aspect of the changing voice is very hurtful.
Ask you local politicians to enact bathroom bills – Transgender people have been using the bathroom of their gender expression for years and years. Guess what? There has never been a recorded issue of them stalking or preying on kids. Any politicians who claim otherwise are lying to you. If anything, a transgender person will be more direct to complete their business and get out as fast as they can.
Ask them for their real name – The name they had at birth is a huge pain point and most of us do not want anything to do with it. It is not our real name, it simply represents the shame and pain we felt like before transition. If you want to know our name, know the name of who we are today as that is the only name that matters.
Call them a tranny – The word ‘tranny’ is considered by many of us as a very derogatory term. When you use that word, it can be perceived negatively. You may hear a few of us refer to ourselves as that word. I will not and it even bothers me a little when other transgender people refer to themselves as ‘trannies.’ It is a word you simply no not want to use unless you are absolutely sure the transgender person is okay with it. I still recommend not using it at all.
Call it their lifestyle choice – Let’s get one thing clear, being transgender is not a choice. We are born this way and honestly who would want to choose this for themselves. There is science to back up the no choice camp as there have been brain studies done that show differences in our brains. I explain it quite well in this Vlog.
Point out how good looking they were before transition – That is very much like telling them that they don’t look good now and that they should have just stayed as they were. This goes back to it not being a choice. For a transgender person, whether they looked good or bad in their old presentation, the old presentation was painful for them and really should be left in the past.
Worry that they will turn your kids into transgender kids – Being transgender is not contagious in any way shape or form. If we could change someone’s gender as easily as you fear, we would be able to correct transgenderism in children which we cannot. Your children are safe.
Out us to your friends – Wow, this is absolutely one of the worse things you can do to a transgender person. It can very hard to come out to you and those we trust. When you out us to others you are taking away that trust and potentially putting our lives in danger. It is our decision who we tell and if you are one of the people we do tell then feel honored and do not betray that trust.