Disclaimer: I am not trans.
I do not know what it is like to be trans and I never will. But a handful of people who I am close to are and this article was inspired by them! Also, my boyfriend (who is trans) helped me write this! Here are 10 easy things you can do to support your trans family, friends, and partners!
1. Use correct pronouns!
Yes, it might be an adjustment, but this is such an easy way to support the trans people in your life! Pronouns are so validating for someone who is trans and working to start new, correct habits will make your trans friend very happy!
2. Educate yourself!
Trans issues and topics are new and ever-changing. Take some time to do a little research and educate yourself on these issues. Also, just being aware of the basics is very helpful.
3. Know that not all trans people are the same or are going through the same issues
Every single trans person is different and all of their transitions will not look the same. Do not think you know everything about what it is like to be trans just because you know one trans person. Every trans person is having their own unique experience and transition so don't compare people just because they have being trans in common.
4. Be aware of gender-neutral restrooms
If you notice that a certain restaurant or store has gender-neutral restrooms, make a mental note! This can be helpful if you are ever out with a trans friend! However, some trans people don't mind using "male" or "female" restrooms. But for those who do or feel safer in them, this will help them out a lot!
5. Ask questions, don't assume!
Just ask! One thing I've learned from dating a trans person and also being friends with trans people is that they would rather you just ask than say the wrong thing, assume, or keep quiet. As long as you are respectful, most trans people won't mind answering your questions. (But you should probably do #2 before you ask something that can easily be googled.)
6. USE CORRECT PRONOUNS
Adding this again because it is that easy and that simple. PRONOUNS ARE IMPORTANT and they make a world of difference.
7. Be aware of the language you use
This not only goes for when you're around trans people but everywhere you go. Be aware of the words you're using and how they might make someone who is trans feel. Words and phrases like "dude," "guys," "suck my dick," "ladies and gents," etc. can be very triggering to some trans people so please be aware of that!
8. Support them publicly and silently
Don't be afraid to stand up for you trans friends. If you can't do that, you don't deserve to be their friend. But also know that not every conversation has to be about their gender identity. They are human just like everyone else.
9. Make sure you include trans people when talking about important issues.
Stop excluding trans men from the topics of birth control and abortions. Stop excluding trans women from the topics of feminism and sexism. STOP EXCLUDING TRANS PEOPLE WHEN TALKING ABOUT RAPE AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT/ASSAULT. Stop assuming that only girls can be on their period. Trans people deserve to have their issues validated and voice's heard.
10. Love them
They need your love and support-so give it as much as you can!