First let me start off by saying a few personal things. A lot of what I am writing about is first hand knowledge and improvements that I think might have helped.
- Wow, so someone you know is Transgender. Here is the first thing you need to do remain clam, take a deep breath and move forward. ~Frank E. Jones. If you think about that quote it is very simple. We are just like anyone else, we have hopes and dreams just like you.
- Pronouns, this is such a hard thing for people to wrap their head around even more so if the person has been known for sometime or has just started transition. Now I am going to let you in on a huge secret Gender Dysphoria can be affected by use of incorrect pronouns. Good new is that it only takes a simple “Oh I am so sorry” you don’t even have to explain to other people in a social setting your error or make a joke to cover it up. Most people will understand and the Transperson will be very thankful that you corrected your error.
Transcommunity…If someone has made an error roll with it and just let it slide until you are in a safe position to talk it over with them. In a social setting you might have to play it by ear and wing your response. But if that happens the mistake can be fixed by ignoring the reference and when the person figures out that they have made the error allow them to correct it.
This type of adjustment by both parties assures that respect is had by both groups. After all Pronouns are a sign of respect.
- There are a lot of new things that you should not ask. Some include: Do you still have a penis? When are you going to get the snip? Why did you choose that name? These are very offensive. Whoopie Goldberg once said you wouldn’t ask a woman “how deep your vagina is?” so don’t ask a Transperson.
- Names oh this is very VERY hard for Transpeople. We go though a few ideas that we feel are us. We leave our old behind. Sometime these old names have just as much importance as the one we choose. But please be mindful if we don’t answer to our old name. As for me my old name is very close to the name I use now. I did this for a number of reasons the biggest was so my Father felt comfortable still calling me Al. And if you slip up just say “oops I am so sorry wrong person” if you have done it in public. If you have done it in a private setting say “I am so sorry I am working on it”. These two helpful suggestions will say face for both parties and earn some friendship brownie points for you.
- Asking who are you attracted to? This is a double edged sword question, because a lot of people just don’t know, but at the same time it’s really in not very proper. Though I can understand why people would ask. You might want to try simple approach “what do you think of him or her” cause sometimes friends look for others to be in our lives.
- DO NOT make a pass at the Transgender friend. Friendship are built upon trust and caring. Trying to take it to the next level cause your friend has come out as Transgender will not end well.
- DO tell Transwomen that look nice, like all women we like to hear that. It is an Ego thing….lol
- IF a Transgender friend needs help in the clothing area of their life offer assistance by saying “hey what are you doing on ?????, would you like to go have a coffee with me and do some shopping?” This is so huge and helps a large amount of Transwomen are scared to go clothes shopping so buy doing this you have just done a wonderfully kind act.
- When I started with makeup, I was not very good and I had a wonderful friend who stepped up and offered some helpful tips Jaclyn. Then later of I have a friend who is a professional makeup artist Rebecca Stosh of Owner Enchantress Beauty who helped me master a few more looks and gave some advice. If you are wanting to help a Transwoman this is also a good area to help in and their will be many thanks.
- Invite a Transperson to an event like a clothes swap, tea party, girls night out, and the like. After all we might be Transgender but we identify closer to the Female or male gender. We would love to be included in those types of events.
- Not all Transpeople are as lucky as I was and do have Hormone issues while going through the second Puberty. Some of these are Emotional roller coaster rides, pimples, and believe it or not some of us can have Period mimicing events without the period itself. So please be ever so kind and find a way to be gentle with us we are learning new things as well.
- Whatever you do PLEASE never introduce a Transperson by the label Transgender. For example “Hey have you met my Transgender friend….” It is very very rude and extremely hurtful.
- Doctors visits are very stressful for some of us. If you have a friend or a child going though this. Please handle with care, there is a lot of the time baggage as you have read in my story. In fact there is a possibility some Transpeople can be rejected for the HRT program.
- Suicide rates are very high in Transyouth lets not joke around about that. The main reason for this is the nonacceptance of family and general public. Schooling can also plays a part in that. We are not freaks, we are not perverts, we are just trying to get by at that stage. You don’t have to understand what we are going through, hell some of the time we done even know ourselves. Treat us the way you way you want to be treated. Don’t be scared to offer a listening ear, the stress of being Transgender is beyond what most people would understand.
- If a family has a child who is Transgender. Don’t be rude and point it out. Just carry on like they are a child of the gender they are presenting as. What the parents are going though is beyond your wildest dreams, Doctor visits, attorney visits, court battles and lastly a child who is in chaos. Be kind to the family as well and don’t point it out, if they want to share they will do it on their own terms.