Tips for Transgender Supporters on How to Help Transgender People?
Be straight-forward. By straight-forward, it not means to be straight with transgender people with what you want to say and ask. What I want to say is to be straight-forward with people who do not pay respect to transgender people. Bravely point out the rights of transgender people. If someone used the wrong pronouns, please correct them right away. It is also very important to challenge the anti-transgender speeches and discriminative jokes. Being the one that stands out for transgender people might seem scary, but is can help improve the accessibility of transgender people and encourage transgender people and other transgender supporters to stand out and do the right thing. It can also change the way people see transgender people.
Support transgender people who are discriminated. Many transgender people feel hopeless and alone when they stand up against the authorities which does not treat them with the equal rights. In this case, you should clearly state your standpoint and make sure they feel supported.
Think about the gender language you use. What language you use to greet people? Ladies and gentlemen? Is there any colleague or person around you who love to tell gender jokes? Many transgender people are fine with people calling them lady or sir, but without asking, you will never find out. Try not to make false assumption about one’s gender and encourage other people to do so. It might take some time and energy, but it will be worth it, because it will be very helpful to transgender people.
Get to know the policies of transgender people and trans dating. Is there any law to protect transgender people? Is there any special rule at school or work places that is not good for transgender people? The important thing is to know the challenge and purpose of transgender people might encounter. If you have any problem with that, it would be a good start to make a change or complain about it.
Make small changes in your school or work place. Rethink the gender column of the paper work. Is it a must? Sometime, we just put it there without thinking what it is for. If you do need to know the gender, instead of letting people choose from male to female, you can just make it blank, which can make all people feel comfortable.
Make sure everyone can use bathroom and other public service. Everyone is entitled to use bathroom and other facilities that could be differentiated by gender. Let people to choose the right bathroom they feel comfortable instead of making them use the one that is indicated by their ID card. What is more, standalone and separated bathrooms are preferred than open ones.
These are tips I would like to offer you if you are also one of the transgender supporters. The number of transgender people is small and so is their strength, but with our help, they will be much stronger.