Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ways to be a Trans-Ally

generated by the participants of a short non-credit course I facilitated on gender & transgender issues this January


Things we do already, or have seen another ally do:

· “swallow” you discomfort to behave respectfully, even if you don’t understand or “agree with” someone’s gender

· educate others: do a “trans 101” for your friends/visitors before they meet your trans friend/housemate/etc

· offer yourself as a resource for people who have questions about trans issues

· correct others’ pronoun use (friends & strangers)

· ask trans friends how you’d like them to handle it when you hear someone call them an incorrect pronoun

· volunteer with Mass Trans Political Coalition (www.masstpc.org)

· be a good friend. lots of trans people lose friends when they come out. be a friend they won’t have to lose.

· interrupt when someone’s getting “interrogated” about their gender or about trans issues in general

· e-mail professors with feedback about how their behavior in class might affect trans students


Things we’d like to do, or things we’d like to do more:

· learn "gender neutral" (or "third gender") pronouns. practice at home.

· if you use a wrong pronoun by mistake – apologize, correct yourself, and move on.

· become more comfortable educating others and answering questions

· become more comfortable answering the tough and/or offensive questions. (practice at home?)

· spend time with other trans-allies. don’t isolate yourself! get support.

· be intentional with programming & publicity in orgs and houses – notice gendered language on posters, e.g.

· find ways to offer support to trans and/or questioning friends, without patronizing

Add your own:

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(also, you can find more trans-related handouts and resources on my other website, here)

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