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The Beginner Trans Ally Guide

Amanda Valentine Dela Cruz
This post was last updated on .

Everyone has experienced being a neophyte and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being one. Just your desire to be a trans ally alone is already a success and warrants a celebration. However, if you truly want to embody an ally and be more purposeful to transgender people, keep reading.

This guide wasn’t created to attack a group of people. This was created for educational purposes only. If you want to be a bona fide ally of the transgender community, you first must know…

Basic Transgender Knowledge

If you don’t have a basic idea of what a trans person is, it’s going to be hard for you to be a transgender ally. Transgender individuals are born with a gender identity opposing their assigned gender at birth.

In other words, a transgender woman was assigned male at birth but she identifies as female and a transgender man was assigned female at birth but he identifies as male.

They are not gender-neutral. Their gender expression is that of binary people; male or female. But both trans and non binary individuals share the same dignity so avoid addressing them with the wrong pronouns.

a book

Transgender is an umbrella term used for people who have a mental disorder called gender dysphoria. They may choose to undergo a gender reassignment surgery or not but their genitals don’t define their gender.

Transsexual, on the other hand, is a more specific term that pertains to a transgender person who’s planning to undergo or has already undergone a gender reassignment surgery. Transsexuals are divided into two groups:

With the latter having undergone the gender reassignment surgery already.

Things You Need to Remember as a Trans Ally

If you’re serious about taking the role of an ally, you must adhere to certain rules and must remember certain things. Don’t be daunted because these rules and things are quite easy to recall. You’ll make a lot of mistakes along the way but this section will give you a good summary of how to be a trans ally successfully.

Transgender parade

The Transgender Flag

Knowing the transgender flag is quite significant most especially if you’re planning to join PRIDE marches. It is made of 5 stripes which consist of the colors:

  • light blue
  • light pink
  • and white
transgender flag

It’s mostly used in celebrations, movements, commemorations, and parades. The pattern of the flag from top to bottom is light blue > light pink > white > light pink > light blue.

  • ight blue color represents the traditional color for baby boys
  • light pink color represents the traditional color for baby girls
  • while the white color represents people who are still transitioning to another gender or individuals who have a neutral or undefined gender.

Proper Pronouns

If you want to be truly trans-friendly, only address a trans woman with the proper pronouns such as:

  • she
  • her
  • hers
  • herself, etc.

And vice versa if you encounter a transgender man.

The utmost disrespect that one can do to a transgender individual is to discredit the gender that they identify with. You must do this in all aspects of life whenever you pertain to transgender people be it in verbal conversations or in writing.

Don’t Assume their S*xuality based on their Gender

Another insulting thing that you can do is to assume someone’s s*xual orientation based on their gender. This is the most common mistake that a  hetero cisgender person does.

Not all transgender people are heterosexuals.

Some bigots even go further to invalidate the gender dysphoria of a trans individual when they find out that he or she is a homosexual because they think that they should just detransition as they prefer the opposite s*x (genital-wise).

Gender is Different from S*x

In connection with the previous section, you must know that gender and sex are two different things. S*x is determined based on one’s genitals while gender is something that’s determined by the individual themself.

  • A pen*s doesn’t dictate that a person should live their life as a man.
  • A vagina doesn’t dictate that a person should live their life as a woman.

In some cases, like with transgender individuals, gender and s*x are disconnected.

Not all Transgender People are Uncomfortable with Their Genitalia

If you’re a genuine ally, you should know that not all transgender people are uncomfortable with what they have between their legs. Some transgender people enjoy using the s*x they were born with to make love and reproduce. This is why when talking about s*x, you must not assume a transgender person’s s*xual role or desires.

This is just what makes transgender people more interesting because they’re not easily read like a book. The mystique of what they truly want in the bed is what makes them even more special but even if you’re an ally, don’t try to be privy by asking them what they like as they might get offended.

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What Transgender People Usually Face

Transgender individuals are often discriminated against by society. It’s not right but it’s also the reason as to why trans allies like you exist. In this section, you’re going to find out the common discriminatory scenarios that most transgender people face on a day-to-day basis.

transgender eguality parade


A lot of transgender people, especially transgender women, get harassed daily. These range from:

  • catcalls
  • verbal insults
  • being outed
  • and public humiliation

Most countries in the world don’t have protection for transgender individuals and this is why things like these still occur up to this day.

Workforce Discrimination

A lot of transgender individuals, albeit being equipped with skills, experience, and education still don’t get hired by companies for the sole reason of their gender identity. This is prevalent in the Asian region because a lot of Asian countries are still run by religion.

Furthermore, if they do get the opportunity, their colleagues, bosses, and subordinates may also make them feel unwelcomed; giving them a harder time excelling at work.

Romance Rejection

In a world whereby love is portrayed to be for everyone, for some reason, when it comes to transgender individuals, love is more elusive. The reason being is that a lot of people (most especially men who are into transgender women), just want to use transgender people to fulfill their s*xual fantasies.

They’re often dehumanized, fetishized, and trivialized. Furthermore, traditional relationships are still dominantly respected and preferred and this is what makes most transgender people somehow feel like an understudy when it comes to serious relationships.

Violence and Abuse

Violence seems to be a neverending occurrence when it comes to transgender people. It’s surprising that in 2020, murders of transgender women seem to be of normalcy around the world as crimes like these are almost always in the headlines of newspapers every month.

Added to that, transgender women aren’t protected in most countries globally which makes them susceptible to rape and other s*xual attacks.

Travel, Establishments, and Toilets Discrimination

Because the majority of the countries in the world still don’t allow transgender people to change their genders in their legal documents, traveling internationally can pose a challenge. Furthermore, in other countries, transgender people are not allowed to enter.

More often than not, transgender people get questioned in immigration if their appearance does not match the gender in their passports. A lot of transgender people, most especially transgender women, are often sent back to their country of origin.

Clubs, discotheques, and some high-end places also ban transgender people. Before going out with your transgender friend, you must know the rules of an establishment to avoid the risk of your friend being humiliated.

Lastly, a lot of transgender women are banned from using women’s toilets because of the general population’s bigotry. Be mindful of this type of discriminatory act because it’s the most commonly occurring when it comes to transphobic scenarios.

Support for Transgender People

Apart from the love and care that you could provide as an ally, it will be very helpful for you to know where to get support from if you want to help any transgender people in your life.

transgender association

Below is a list of helpful sites that you may utilize.

Did you find this The Beginner Trans Ally Guide helpful? If so, kindly share it on your timeline.

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About the author

Amanda Valentine Dela Cruz
Amanda Valentine is a transgender woman who has written about trans topics for over 10 years for My Transgender Date. She is an author who made it on Amazon’s best-seller list by writing 5 books on trans women’s relationships. Her book “Dating Transgender Women for Gentlemen” peaked at #3 in the Transgender Studies category on Amazon. She started writing at the age of 10 and won a poetry contest in 4th grade which convinced her to pursue a career in literature. Her personal experiences as a transgender woman give her a unique perspective on trans topics.

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