Not every transgender person is an advocate for the community.
So here are some questions you may have about the community and some you shouldn't ask.
- What is transgender?
- Transgender is the opposite of cisgender. Cisgender is someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth.
- What does trans look like?
- There is no right way to look or be trans. Transgender people can identify as many different genders including FTM (female to male), MTF (male to female), Androgynous, Agender, Two spirit, Third gender, Bigender, and more. We have a more inclusive list of definitions so, check out the LGBT…What?! Dictionary.
- What does FTM/MTF/AMAB/AFAB mean?
- FTM – female to male.
- MTF – male to female.
- AMAB – assigned male at birth.
- AFAB – assigned female at birth.
- Is drag a part of the transgender spectrum?
- Yes, drag kings and queens are a part of the transgender spectrum.
- Can you be gay and trans?
- Yes, your gender identity does not change your sexual attraction it just changes the label of it.
- Does changing your birth name include your first and last name?
- It can. A transgender person chooses a name that encompasses their true self, for some that means changing their first and last name.
- What pronouns do you use?
- Ask this from everyone. Help to normalize asking about people’s pronouns. You wouldn’t assume someone’s name, so why would you assume someone’s pronouns?
- What's the difference between being transgender and being intersex?
- A person who identifies as transgender is expressing their gender identity. This identity being a core part of who they are as an individual. A person who is intersex is given their identity. This identity is given by medical professionals based on an individual's sex assigned at birth. Some intersex people identify as transgender but not all transgender people are intersex. Neither identity is chosen.
- What is the difference between being transgender and being gender non-conforming?
- Being gender non-conforming means not conforming to gender stereotypes. For example, someone’s clothes, hairstyle, speech patterns, or hobbies might be considered more "feminine" or "masculine" than what's stereotypically associated with their gender.
Gender non-conforming people may or may not be transgender. For example, some women who were raised and identify as women present themselves in ways that might be considered masculine, like by having short hair or wearing stereotypically masculine clothes. The term “tomboy” refers to girls who are gender non-conforming, which often means they play rough sports, hang out with boys, and dress in more masculine clothing. Similarly, transgender people may be gender non-conforming, or they might conform to gender stereotypes for the gender they live and identify as.
- Is it transgender, transgendered, or transgenders?
- The correct term for the transgender community is transgender. Transgendered implies that something has happened to make a person transgender, which is misleading because the word is not a verb. Transgenders is also incorrect as it is being used as a noun. Transgender people are more than transgender, the word transgender is an adjective and is used to define one aspect of the community and not a group of people.
Do Not Ask
- What was it like before transition?
- Most transgender people don’t want to share their experiences from before their transition. It is a very personal time for them and they are not obligated to share their story with you.
- Have you got the surgery yet?
- Which surgery? Transgender people all transition differently. Some choose to medically transition and others don’t. It doesn’t make them any less trans.
- Who wants to date a trans person?
- Lots of people fear the transgender community but plenty of trans people find life partners.
- But how do transgender people have sex?
- This is a very uncomfortable question to ask someone and one that nobody has a right to ask anyone. Transgender people have sex in many diverse ways. Some don’t have sex at all. It all depends on the person.
- But what do you have in your pants?
- You would feel uncomfortable if someone asked you what genitalia then, why would you ask a transgender person.
- What was your name before? What’s your real name?
- The name that a trans person gives you is their real name. The name before was given to them and doesn’t suit them. They have no requirement to share it with you and you have no need to know. Unless you are asking for legal documentation don’t ask.
- What did you look like before? Can you show me a picture?
- Everyone feels awkward about baby photos. Some people are okay with sharing them and some are not. If a trans person wants to share them they will show you.
- You look like a trans person.
- What does that mean? What does a transgender person look like? Stereotypes hurt everyone.
- Which bathroom do you use?
- When you ask this question, it implies that the person is using the wrong restroom.
- Are you sure you aren’t just gay?
- Transgender people are not confused about their sexuality or gender identity. Gender identity and sexuality are separate. (i.e. a transgender person can be interested in woman before transition and after.)
- Why don’t you try harder to look like a man/woman?
- There are no standards for being a man or woman. Transgender people are just being themselves and transitioning the way they feel comfortable.
- Are you going to change your voice?
- Transgender people transition in different ways, asking them about changing their voice can make them feel dysphoric about their bodies.
- Am I still straight if I want to have or have had sex with a transgender person?
- You are still straight if you identify as straight. Even if you have a partner of the same gender you can identify as straight. Who you have an intimate relationship with does not change your orientation. Sexual behavior is not the same as sexual attraction.
- Do you think you will ever go back? Will you detransition?
- People who transition rarely go back to how they identified before. It’s a large stigma in the transgender community to detransition.
I wouldn’t have known if you didn’t tell me.
Wow I would’ve had no idea.
Wow they have a vagina?! Wow do they still have a dick?
You don’t need hormones you look good the way you are.
Hormones are going to make you ugly
You’re already Feminine/ Masculine you don’t need to do stuff.
Are those boobs real?
I can see their Adam’s apple.
You’re trans aren’t you?
Are you transgender?
I can’t see you as the new you.
It’s hard to remember your pronouns
Your pronouns are too hard.
Can’t you dress normal
I support you BUT…
I don’t get the bathroom problem, it’s not a problem.
God doesn’t make mistakes, he put you in the body you were meant to be in.
When did you decide to be trans?
I am impressed you look like a real man/woman!
I can tell you used to be a man or woman.