trans ally
Categories
Gender LGBT+ Sexuality

7 Tips on How To Be A Trans Ally

A trans ally is someone who is cisgender but fights alongside the trans community to tackle prejudice and promote equality.

Here at Ditch the Label, we definitely think this day is a pretty important one, as loads of people all over the world still get targeted daily for being gay, bi and trans. We want to focus on tackling transphobia, and so put together this quick guide to being the best trans ally you possibly can!

So, whether you’re already clued up about transgender issues, or you’re not so sure and are always worrying that you’ll say the wrong thing – we’re here to help…

1) Backhanded compliments suck and need to stop…

“I never would have known you were trans…”- translates as “well done on passing as ‘normal.'” Newsflash: there is no normal!

Also, this insinuates that if you had known, you might have treated them differently. Even if you meant it in the best way possible, just steer clear of things like this…

There are unfortunately many, many more of these so-called ‘backhanded compliments’ which most trans people will probably be familiar with. Steer clear of stuff like this, they have probably heard it all a lot and it certainly isn’t very complimentary – it usually comes from being uninformed or prejudiced. If you hear ‘compliments’ like this, try to challenge it by asking why they have said that.

2) See the person

Do you regularly ask everyone about what’s going on in their pants? The size, shape and history of their genitals? Didn’t think so! Please, pretty please don’t ask trans folks about it either! It’s deeply disrespectful and not ok…EVER!

See the person, get to know them for who they are, being trans is only one small part of a person’s story and not their entire identity.

3) Don’t make assumptions about a transgender person’s sexual orientation

Gender identity is different than sexual orientation. Sexuality is about who we are attracted to, whereas gender identity is own personal sense of being male, female or outside the gender binary. Transgender people can be gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual or heterosexual.

Something else to remember is that it’s really none of your business what sexual orientation someone is until they decide to reveal it to you.

4) Ask questions rather than assume

If there is something you’re not clear about, most people will be open to answering your questions as long as they are polite, respectful and not too intrusive.

So for example, asking someone which pronouns they use is usually fine (she/he/they). If you have anything else you want to ask, try having an open honest conversation in a safe space, and let them know that you have some questions, but they do not have to answer them if they don’t want to and that you mean no harm in asking them.

Are you looking to come out or know someone who is?


5) Shut transphobia down

When you see transphobic abuse, report it. Stand up for your friends and stand up for strangers when it feels safe to do so. No one deserves to be abused because of who they are and/or how they identify. By not saying anything, you are effectively justifying their prejudice and betraying your own beliefs in equality – standing shoulder to shoulder with the trans community to overcome hate and ignorance is the best thing you can do.

6) Do your research

Know about trans issues and current affairs. All you have to do is go online to see what’s going on in the world. Simply being in the know is a good place to start. Form your own opinion and go from there.

7) Be Yourself

You don’t need to be anything other than yourself. If you are a true ally, you believe in equality and overcoming prejudice, then that’s all you need to do: stand up for what you believe in and support others in the face of adversity.

There you have it! Seven quick tips on how to be the best ally to the trans community as you possibly can!

If you need support from a digital mentor or are dealing with transphobia or related issues, join the DTL community. There are a whole bunch of people who can help you today!

RSS FORUM CHATS

  • Coming Out
    My parents don't support pride at all. I want to come out to them as bisexual but they will be really mad and prolly scream at me. My brother told them that he thinks he likes guys and girls and my dad screamed at him and now my dad won't even talk to him. At […]
  • am i bi???
    ive felt straight all my life... but i might be bi, im young tho and might be confused, but i feel i could be bi
  • does anyone cook here?
    I love trying to cook new things- i dont think i am very good but its a fun challenge
  • How do I come out to my parents I dont know if there homophobic or not we havent ever talked about something like lgbtq and IM SCARED *TERRIFIED FACE*
    umm hi im new on this site i dont really know how it works but im hoping someone whos a real person out there can tell me how to come out to my parents cuz i have a really good relationship with my dad hes my bestie i would feel really comfortable coming out to […]
  • IM NEW SO IM POSTING......SOMETHING???
    heyyyy guys (btw i dont know anyone in this place so im just really talking to a empty space soo...) but anyways i just joined this ditch the label thing cuz it sounded like my type of thing and wanted to post just to see how it works :) IF ANYONE REAL REPLIES TO THIS […]
  • Coming Out
    I have been questioning for about 3 years now. My high school was pretty hick and unaccepting when it comes to anyone who doesn't conform to "social norms". when I first started feeling this way, I talked to one of my other friends who was bi and he really tried to help me feel comfortable […]