5 Things You Really Need To Stop Asking Transgender People

5 Things You Really Need To Stop Asking Transgender People

Because we are really tired of it.

When I came out as transgender in 2009, I had to be diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder to be classified as a “true transgender individual.” Thankfully, that diagnosis was removed when the DSM-5 was published in 2013.

Although it may not feel like it due to recent political events, there has been an incredible amount of progression in the transgender community since then. Yet, I still get asked the same inappropriate questions several times a month.

I am only one transgender person and I do not represent the entire community. The following is based on my own personal experiences and, keep in mind when reading, I was around 15 years old when I came out. These were the types of questions people would ask me even though I was a minor.

In no particular order, these are my personal top five things you should not ask a transgender person.

1. What’s your “real name” (aka “birth name”)?

If someone says their name is John, you call them John. You don’t need to know someone’s birth name. It really is that simple, folks.

2. Did you have THE surgery?

There are two major problems with this question; first, it’s very invasive and personal and, second, this promotes the stereotype that all trans people MUST experience dysphoria and MUST medically transition to be considered transgender. Realistically, there are countless transfolk that cannot or do not want to transition. Please stop pressuring trans people to alter their bodies.

3. What bathroom do you use?

Unfortunately, this question has become even more popular because of the bathroom bill House Bill 2 that was passed in North Carolina last year. In summary, it means a person must use the restroom/changing room that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate.

Just let me pee in peace. Seriously. Public bathrooms are anxiety inducing as it is. I don't want to be in there any longer than you do.

4. How do you have sex?

I get physically intimate with someone and we call it sex. That's it. Surprise!

But, seriously, do you intend to have sex with me and or a transgender person? If not, you don’t need to know. Any discussion about intimacy is a conversation you need to have after someone says it's okay to ask!

5. But I’m just curious! Aren’t you supposed to educate me?

Curiosity is never a justifiable excuse to ask crude, uncomfortable, and personal questions. It is not my job as a visible trans person to educate you. I'm also a very curious person. If I can take the time to look something up via Google or other resources, so can you. Otherwise, you’re not really curious – you’re just nosy.

If you only remember one thing from this post, let it be this: Before you ask a transgender person a question, ask yourself if knowing the answer will actually make a difference in your life. If you think you can go on without knowing, don’t ask. We deserve respect and privacy too.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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37 Things Growing Up in the South Taught You

Where the tea is sweet, but the people are sweeter.

1. The art of small talking.
2. The importance of calling your momma.
3. The beauty of sweet tea.
4. How to use the term “ma'am” or “sir” (that is, use it as much as possible).
5. Real flowers are way better than fake flowers.
6. Sometimes you only have two seasons instead of four.
7. Fried chicken is the best kind of chicken.
8. When it comes to food, always go for seconds.
9. It is better to overdress for Church than underdress.
10. Word travels fast.
11. Lake days are better than beach days.
12. Handwritten letters never go out of style.
13. If a man doesn’t open the door for you on the first date, dump him.
14. If a man won’t meet your family after four dates, dump him.
15. If your family doesn’t like your boyfriend, dump him.
16. Your occupation doesn’t matter as long as you're happy.
17. But you should always make sure you can support your family.
18. Rocking chairs are by far the best kind of chairs.
19. Cracker Barrel is more than a restaurant, it's a lifestyle.
20. Just 'cause you are from Florida and it is in the south does not make you Southern.
21. High School football is a big deal.
22. If you have a hair dresser for more than three years, never change. Trust her and only her.
23. The kids in your Sunday school class in third grade are also in your graduating class.
24. Makeup doesn’t work in the summer.
25. Laying out is a hobby.
26. Moms get more into high school drama than high schoolers.
27. Sororities are a family affair.
28. You never know how many adults you know 'til its time to get recommendation letters for rush.
29. SEC is the best, no question.
30. You can't go wrong buying a girl Kendra Scotts.
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32. Biscuits and gravy are bae.
33. Sadie Robertson is a role model.
34. If it is game day you should be dressed nice.
35. If you pass by a child's lemonade stand you better buy lemonade from her. You're supporting capitalism.
36. You are never too old to go home for just a weekend… or just a meal.
37. You can’t imagine living anywhere but the South.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Valentine

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Respect And Celebrate Different Identities

Just because you don't think it's "normal" doesn't mean you can disrespect it.


I've always believed "respect is earned, not given" to be utter BS, but that's even more true when it comes to how people identify. June is LGBT+ Pride Month, which means you're going to be hearing about a lot of different identities (gender- and orientation-wise) that you've probably never heard of.

Please, for the sake of everyone involved, don't be an ass if you don't understand what they identify as. At one point, everyone has questioned an identity that they came across (and if you say you haven't, I'm going to say you're lying). Do that in your head, but be respectful to the person.

I've been online for years, and I'm guilty of bashing people's identities because I thought they were "weird" and didn't fully understand them. Guess what? I recognize that as being a horrible thing to do and have since matured.

It costs you nothing to be respectful.

When I see an identity I don't fully understand, I either ask the person about it (respectfully) or shrug it off because it's none of my business. The most it affects me is when it comes to their preferred name and pronouns, but even that isn't a big deal. It won't end my life if I call someone by a set of pronouns I don't understand.

Now, I'm not saying to not ask questions out of fear of being disrespectful; I'm saying to not be a total jerk when asking.

When in doubt, ask them about it. "Hey, can you explain what ____ means?" is a very different way to start a conversation than "I've never heard of ____ and think it's gross/wrong, so it doesn't exist."

The worst possible thing you can do is tell someone their identity doesn't exist. That pretty much tells the person that they don't exist, which is really just a dick move.

Because, again, what does it cost you to be respectful?

That's right, nothing.

Their identity doesn't hurt you in any way. Them being gay or trans or somewhere in the middle or both literally does you no harm. Respecting them does you no harm.

You may not understand if someone identifies as a "non-binary pansexual they/them," but they know full well what it means. That's all that matters. All you have to do is respect them and call them what they want to be called rather than what you think they should be called.

Nobody knows someone better than they know themselves.

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