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.
Transgender is an umbrella term used for people who have a mental disorder called gender dysphoria. They may choose to undergo a sex 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 have already undergone a sex reassignment surgery. Transsexuals are divided into two groups:
With the latter having undergone the sex 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.
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
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.
If you want to be truly trans friendly, only address a trans woman with the proper pronouns such as:
- herself, etc.
And vice versa if you encounter a transgender man.
The utmost disrespect that you 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 Sexuality based on their Gender
Another insulting thing that you can do is to assume someone’s sexual orientation based on their gender. This is the most common mistake that a hetero cisgender person does.
Not all transgender people are heterosexuals.
- Some transgender women are into women
- While some transgender men are into men
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 sex (genital-wise).
Gender is Different from Sex
In connection with the previous section, you must know that gender and sex are two different things. Sex is determined based on one’s genitals while gender is something that’s determined by the individual themself.
- A penis 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 sex 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 sex they were born with to make love and reproduce. This is why when talking about sex, you must not assume a transgender person’s sexual 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.
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.
A lot of transgender people, especially transgender women, get harassed daily. These range from:
- 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.
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.
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 because a lot of people (most especially men who are into transgender women), just want to use transgender people to fulfill their sexual 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 sexual 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.
Below is a list of helpful sites that you may utilize.
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