Unconscious bias—whether it’s targeting race, religion, sexuality, ability, body type, or the mountain of other ways in which we judge each other—does not necessarily stem from active hate, and is not as easy to spot within our friends and ourselves. But it impacts our communities every single day. So we need to do a better job acknowledging it.
We can start by taking this Harvard Implicit Bias Test. The most responsible thing we can do right now is recognize ways to improve ourselves.
This Issue Time features a panel of experts answering your questions and addressing your concerns on Implicit bias.
Laura Mather, PhD, is an expert on unconscious bias and the neuroscience behind decision-making. She has built creative software solutions for the National Security Agency, eBay, and her own startups, Silver Tail Systems and Talent Sonar. Her work has been featured in many outlets including NPR and the New Yorker and her writing can be found in Ozy, Salon, Time Motto, Fast Company, Forbes, and the Huffington Post, where she is a regular blogger. She is the winner of the Anita Borg Institute’s 2017 ABIE Award for Technology Entrepreneurship.
Tanya M. Odom is a global consultant, coach, facilitator, writer, teacher, storyteller, ally, and thought-leader focused on equity, civil rights, and diversity and inclusion. Tanya’s unique portfolio career has allowed her to work in the education, private sector/corporate, not-for-profit/NGO, law enforcement, and university/college arenas. Tanya’s work focuses on topics including : Diversity and Inclusion, Inclusive Leadership, Race/Racism, Challenging Conversations, Mindfulness, Coaching, Innovation and Creativity, Educational Equity, and Youth Empowerment/mentoring.
Joe Gerstandt is a speaker, author, and advisor bringing greater clarity, action, and impact to organizational diversity and inclusion efforts. As a keynote speaker and consultant, Joe works with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to small non-profits.
Bryant T. Marks, Sr. is a minister, researcher, master teacher and human developmentalist. His calling/passion/purpose is to develop the knowledge, wisdom, and skills of others that will allow them to reach their full potential and live their lives with purpose and passion. He is particularly driven to identify the factors that foster the affirmative personal and academic development Black males and create programs and publications that incorporate these factors. Dr. Marks combines research from social, educational, and cognitive psychology with hip-hop, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and African/African American history to engage, inform, and inspire audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Our panelists will begin to answer your question this Friday, October 6.
“wait ur nonbinary? I thought you were trans!” “But using your pronouns are hard!!” “Cis is a slur!!!” “I hate those trans people who always make a fuss!” “Is that a man or a woman? *uses it/its*” “I’m alright with trans people, I just hate those fake genders” *Insert 500 transphobic jokes* “They’re just jokes oh my god! You’re so sensitive” “Lmao men in dresses are so funny” “But what if a man says he’s a woman and sneaks into the bathroom to assault people” “you’re pretty cute for a trans man/woman” “which bathroom do you use” “what’s in your pants” “are u pre op?” “How do you have sex?” “so technically you’re a (insert assigned gender)” “So she- well, she thinks she’s a boy but I’ve known her for a long time so it’s okay” “I’ve never met a trans before !!” "i can misgender you cos you’re a cunt” “you’re not even trans” “But you don’t look trans!” “I wouldn’t date a trans, I’m just not attracted to them” “i identify as a dog LOL !!!” “transgendered” “down with trans” “Cisphobia is just as bad as transphobia” “how can you hate someone just for being transphobic?” “down with cis is harmful” “dysphoria cant be that bad” “down with hate” “I’m not transphobic my sister’s friend’s cousin’s nephew is trans!” “You transgenders will say anything’s transphobic” “im not transphobic i thought i was trans "are you sure you’re not just butch?” “you’re too young to know your’re trans!” “you’re too old to know you’re trans!” “why is being trans suddenly a trend?” ”*t-slur*“
"i can say that i have a trans friend”
“this is (birthname) she thinks she’s a boy!” “oh she’s playing dress up” “i’ve never dated a trans but i’m up for experimenting” “i can say that i have a trans friend”
2. Use a person’s correct gender pronouns when referring to or speaking with them. If you aren’t sure what pronouns to use, it’s alright to politely ask. For example, you could say “what pronouns do you use?” or “Hi, my name is Shane and my pronouns are they/them. What about you?” Do not ask for a transgender person’s “real name.” You can also join this DoSomething.org campaign to challenge your classmates to not use masculine/feminine pronouns for a day.
3. Speak to transgender people like you would cisgender people, or people that are not transgender. Avoid comments that you wouldn’t say to cisgender people such as:
a. “He’s so hot. I’d date him even though he’s transgender.”
b. “You look like a real woman.”
c. “You look so pretty, I would have never known you weren’t a real woman.”
d. “What was it like being born a boy?”
e. “What surgeries have you had?”
f. “What’s it like to have sex as a transgender?
g. You’d pass so much better if you wore more/less make-up, had a better wig, etc.”