At one point in your life you are bound to run into a trans* person, a genderqueer person or someone who challenges the way you view things. Hopefully, you’ll befriend someone (unless they’re an asshole - it’s okay to not be friends with someone if they’re an asshole, but not just because they confuse you) who does fall into one of these nonbinary (i.e. male/female) categories.
We all want to be good friends right? Well, most of us do. There are certain things you should never say to a trans* person, even if they have been your best friends since the womb. Let’s just take a look at that right now.
1. What you (generally) say: What is your real name / Sorry, you’re still (insert birth name) to me / What is your actual name, etc.
Why you shouldn’t say it: You have to understand that a transperson’s identity is very fragile. Even the strongest of trans* individuals still has issues with self-perception and dysphoria. Accidentally dropping one of these into a conversation is bad. Why? Because using words like “real” and “actual” gives off the not so subtle vibe that their current identity is the opposite of these words, fake. If a person wants to disclose the name they were given at birth with you, they will. Saying that a person is still a name they don’t identify with can make a trans* person feel like you don’t accept their identity, which can be devastating, especially on a bad day. When you’re questioning everything you’re supposed to feel about yourself, having a friend do it just perpetuates the confusion and self-hate.
What you should say: I’m sorry, it’s going to take me awhile to adjust but know my mistakes aren’t out of malice or me not accepting you, but sheer habit.
2. What you (generally) say: So do you want me to call you a dude/chick now? / Am I supposed to call you by your actual titles or not? / Are you a guy or girl? / What do you want me to call you?
Why you shouldn’t say it: If a trans*person is to the point where they are publicly transitioning, throwing around words can be a lot more harmful than helpful. The way a trans* people carries present themselves is a very important and conflicting point of interaction. It is literally trying to rearrange the way society sees you in order for it to match up with how you feel internally. Carelessly referring to a trans*person as their wrong gender, or implying that their presenting gender is not their “real” gender is extremely hurtful and can come off as an attack and a show of disapproval. While every person will prefer their own set of pronouns, assuming or wrongly addressing your friend is a bad way to go.
What you should say: What pronouns do you prefer?
3. What you (generally) say: So is sex different? / How will you do it if you don’t have the right parts / Are you gay then?
Why you shouldn’t say it: Number one, a person’s sexual identity has absolutely nothing to do with their gender identity. Nothing. Whatsoever. Nothing. As in, not related at all. Number two, how would you like someone busting in, asking your girlfriend what your sex noises sound like or your favorite toy to use, or something equally embarrassing? What a trans*person does in the privacy of their bedroom is of no concern to you, and just because you’re curious and confused does not mean you get to objectify people to feel better about yourself. If you wouldn’t ask your girlfriend’s protective father about it, or your grandmother, then you shouldn’t ask a trans*person.
What you should say: Nothing.
I’ve basically decided that if any woman feels uncomfortable with an uncircumcised penis, or thinks it looks strange, or refuses to have date/have sex with a guy who is uncircumcised, then in turn, SHE should be okay with it if a guy decides he doesn’t want to date her for her natural appearance and thinks she should get a boob job (or some other form of cosmetic surgery).
If you’re going to dish out that kind of offence to someone’s natural body, be willing to accept it in return.
Yep. It goes both ways. If you expect someone to have cosmetic surgery, don’t get upset if they expect the same from you.
- A compliment
- A story
- Why you follow me
- If you met me what would you do
- A cute message
- One thing you want to tell me
- One thing you want to know about me