Supporting Transgender Family and Friends
There are a lot of different ways to show your support for people in your life that are transgender. Some of these ways of showing support might seem small and can have a big impact. Here are a few ways we can show support in the things we say and do.
We can show support in the things we say to our loved one. Ask what pronouns and name to use and then use them. Doing this shows your support to the person and offers validation of the other's identity.
Show support through the things that we say about our loved one. Always ask your loved one what areas of life they are out…in (as in who else knows and might be an OK person or place that you could advocate for them). That way, when an opportunity arises to correct someone else's language about your loved one, you know that it’s OK to do so. Doing this shows your loved one that you got their back even when they aren’t around. This also lets other trans folx and allies know you are a safe person.
Show your support by learning about larger transgender issues from a source other than your loved one. Make it a priority to know about transgender issues in the media and in legislation. You can even go a step further and use the information about larger societal transgender issues to make decisions.
Show support through your decisions. Make decisions that support transgender folx in your community. This might mean voting for transgender health care or showing up to a rally or parade. This could also mean not spending money with corporations that are unsupportive of transgender folx.
Being supportive of transgender family and friends means showing your support in the things you say and do. What other ways might you support your gender expansive loved ones?
-Tyler Woody LPC transman he/him/his