How To Be A Trans Ally

As you may know, the Trump Administration is looking for another way to erase trans folks. According to The New York Times, the Trump Administration is seeking to define gender as “biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth,” essentially incorrectly defining sex as unchangeable and in a binary of male or female.

As we stated in this post, G&STC stands in solidarity with transgender communities in opposition to this targeted and toxic move by the Trump Administration. Gender is not a binary, and cannot be determined by the body of an infant and the sex one is assigned at birth.

It’s more important than ever to be supportive of the trans community - lives are on the line, and the continued violence of this administration has been a threat to the trans community since day one. Here are some ways you can show up for trans people - not just when horrible news comes out like this, but every day.

Being an ally is an action, not a title. It’s not something you are, it’s something you do.

Do the work to educate yourself

Trans people have no obligation to educate you. While some people are truly unsure of terminology and etiquette, it is not the duty of marginalized folx to provide the emotional labor to educate everyone. Set aside some time to do your own research, and make sure you’re getting your information from reputable sources - ideally from folks in the community you’re learning about. Don’t be ashamed that you don’t know everything already, just make sure you take the time to educate yourself. You can start here:

TREVOR SUPPORT CENTER

Trans Youth Support Network

Transwhat?

National Center for Transgender Equality

G&STC Glossary of Terms for Therapists | Part One - check back with our blog for more terms, coming soon!

G&STC Consultation, Education + Supervision Services - to schedule a training

Give your time + money

There are a number of fantastic organizations that do the work to support the trans community on a daily basis. Take a look at the list below and see if there are any chapters in your area where you can volunteer. You can also check on social media to see if there are any events in your area. A one-time donation is a fantastic gift. An even better one is a recurring monthly donation so that organizations can count on your money every month and use it to do their work. Here are some places to get started:

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund

Transgender Law Center

The Trevor Project

National Center for Transgender Equality

Trans Lifeline

GLAAD

G&STC's Mental Health Fund

Never out anyone

Hopefully, this is obvious, but it still bears repeating: never out anyone. Being out is not a simple decision for a lot of trans and gender expansive folks. In many instances, being out can be dangerous. Being out can also lead to discrimination from employers, peers, family members, landlords, healthcare professionals - the list goes on. This is not a choice you can make for someone. Unless you have been given the express permission of the person in question, it is not your place to out anyone, ever.  

Ask about pronouns, and offer your own

Don’t assume you know anyone’s pronouns simply by looking at them. If you don’t already know someone’s pronouns, take the time to ask them. Another way to be an ally is to normalize the sharing of pronouns. When you introduce yourself to someone, you can say “Hi, my name is [NAME] and my pronouns are [PRONOUNS]. It’s nice to meet you!” This way, the burden of disclosing pronouns is not solely placed on trans folks. Put your pronouns in your email signature and in your bio on social media sites.   If you’re meeting someone for the first time, you can introduce yourself with your pronouns and ask about theirs. Reminder: don’t just do this for people who you think “look” trans or nonbinary (Side note: Keep in mind that there is not one way that trans people look and this sentiment is based on a cisgender ideal.)

Listen more than you talk

This is a common theme in allyship - let marginalized communities lead the way. You are there for support, so make sure you are listening to and amplifying trans voices. Make sure you’re not just listening to fellow allies. Your allyship should be based around the folks you claim to be an ally to. This means listening more than you talk in trans spaces, educating yourself, and promoting trans leaders.

Vote

The best way we have to fight against the current administration is to vote. Make sure you’re registered, you know where to vote, and you understand the issues. Don’t just vote in presidential elections, and don’t convince yourself that your vote doesn’t count - it absolutely does - especially locally. Talk to your friends and family about why voting for candidates who stand up for trans rights is important. Make sure your friends and family vote too!

This list is just 6 easy ways to be a trans ally - don’t let your allyship begin and end here. Keep growing, learning, and fighting for the folks who are under attack by our government.