transgender allies

I found this moment quite symbolic as I stumbled across these two girls intertwined with each other, hiding underneath a Pride rainbow flag as they shared a private moment together. In a way it shows how they feel protected underneath the rainbow, free from prejudice and labelling. In another light it could show them hiding from the world underneath what they find safe, but either way I think this is my favourite photo from London Pride, 2015.

LGBT+ Alliance 101

So you’re a straight cisgendered person and you consider yourself an ally to the LGBT+ community. But are you, really?? Well, if you commit any of the following cardinal sins, then I would say that’s a definite “NO.” Some of these sins, if you commit them, actually make you an asshole. But you don’t wanna be seen in that light by LGBT+ folk, right?? Well, I’m gonna outline to you some very simple instructions to help clean up your act.

1. Don’t go around telling your gay friend’s sexuality/gender to everyone you know.

I already discussed this earlier. It isn’t your place to be releasing that type of information, even if they told you themselves. And there’s always the off chance that you could be telling someone who’s VERY homophobic. Just let them come out on their own terms.

2. Don’t make LGBT+ people the butt of your jokes.

We already have a tough time in this society with all the hate and violence we receive. Last thing we need is someone making fun of us. And an “ally” joining in (or initiating the joke) is adding insult to injury. And majority of the jokes made by straight people promote harmful and false stereotypes about us. If you’re serious about helping us, don’t be that person. Just don’t.

3. DON’T! LECTURE! US! On how to respond to oppression!!!

We know FULL WELL what we go through and what society thinks of us. If anything, we clearly have a better idea of how we want society to accept us than straight people. So don’t tell us how to act or respond in the face of hate. You are an outsider to the community, and this isn’t something you gotta deal with every day.

4. Don’t fetishize us.

We are normal people just like you. We are not anyone’s circus or zoo, and we DAMN SURE ain’t here to be anyone’s kink. Fetishizing mlm, wlw, or trans people isn’t “being an ally.”  It’s gross. It’s dehumanizing. It’s turning normal people into sex objects. Looking right at you, Yaoi and Yuri shippers.

5. Don’t stereotype us.

We aren’t here to serve the “Gay Best Friend” archetype. All we want is to be treated like normal people.

6. RESPECT TRANS/NON-BINARY PEOPLE’S IDENTITY!

Don’t be the asshole that keeps mis-gendering them on purpose based on what YOU think they are. If they say they are different gender than what was assigned to them, then THAT’S WHAT THEY ARE. Respect it!

7. Don’t make jokes about how a Trans person looks better than you, a cis person.

Y’know, the one where you go “Wow, you look so hot for a trans person, and I’m cis and I look ugly lol.” By saying that, you’re implying that all trans people are supposed to be uglier than cis people. Your statement is actually a veiled transphobic insult. A simple “You’re beautiful” will suffice.

8. DON’T ask a trans person what genitalia they have.

Regardless of if they fully transitioned or not, it’s none of your business.

9. Don’t ask gay people about their sex lives.

Don’t go up to a gay person and ask them “Are you a top or a bottom?”, “Who’s the man and the woman in the relationship?”, or “What’s gay sex like?” Our sex lives are none of your business. We are under no obligation to tell you intimate stuff like that.

10. Don’t sit there idly while we are under attack.

If you see a queer person getting harassed, either verbally or physically, DON’T JUST STAND THERE. DO SOMETHING!!!! SAVE THEM! The situation is only gonna get worse. Silence perpetuates violence.

So yeah, those are the Ten Commandments of being an Ally. But one could also sum up these Commandments as simply this: JUST DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

Longview Morning Herald, Texas, December 2, 1952

“My wife and I racked our brains after we found out about this, trying to figure out if he - I mean she - had violated any of God’s laws or any of the laws of our country.

She hasn’t. She has just straightened out something that hundreds of others ought to.”

“I think it is quite natural that persons to whom nature has been unjust should be treated in this way. Many more persons should overcome their shyness and do the same.”

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Similarities between Blake Brockington and Leelah Alcorn

1. They were both Transgender.

2, They were both rejected by their families. (Blake was in fostercare because his family kicked him out)

3.  Their ages. (Blake had just turned 18, and Leelah was 17 turning 18)

4. They both commited suicide.

So explain to me why this well known Transgender activist, Blake Brockington, who raised thousands for charity and became the first black transgender homecoming king is getting almost no media attention. Leelah Alcorn trended across Twitter and Tumblr—even got her own Wikipedia page and article in People magazine. 

This is by no means a comparison or a contest for opression. But Blake Brockington deserves the same memorial Leelah Alcorn was given— if not more.  Three thousand to three hundred and sixty four( and that is including articles about him winning @ HOCO) .The only clear difference between them is his race. Preserve this young man’s life.

REST IN POWER KING, BLAKE BROCKINGTON.

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New comic!

I remember that I was doing this exact thing, I was asking for explanations and definitions in a conversation about disability, and I just wanted to help, and I thought if they just could explain this concept to me that I hadn’t heard before, then I could help more. I remember my friend turning to me and saying, not unkindly, ‘I bet, if you tried, you’d find some really excellent blog posts about this’. I’m fortunate that I got the implied ‘shut up’ there.And she was right. 

I’ve seen people online react really badly when someone gives them a link and says ‘I think you’ll have a better idea of what we’re talking about if you look this over’. We’re expected to slow down, be patient, be kind, be clear, we’re expected to be knowledgeable and articulate and calm and accommodating. We’re expected to do this for free, as a basic part of our identities, the constant willingness to educate. Often we’re expected to do this in order to receive ‘support’ from people. 

It would just be really wonderful to be able to talk about gender without constantly landing back into 101. 

3 Easy Steps to be a better Trans Ally

We all want to be the best allies we possibly can be–but sometimes this means addressing hard truths and making accommodations appropriately. 

Whether you’re a member of the trans community or just a supporter, here are a few things to take into account with your activism/involvement with the community as a whole in order to create the safest and most inclusive space. 

1.) Recognize and address racism in the transgender/LGBTQ+ community
Racism is very much alive and the LGBTQ+ community is not an exception. Although a members of the trans/LGBTQ+ community are minorities themselves, white members often disregard/dismiss racism.

Standing with the trans community means standing with people who have to experience transphobia/transmisogyny as well as racism. Being aware, outspoken, and invested in trans/queer POC(people of color)’s lives is necessary to create an environment that is safe for all. 

2.) Understand the difference between transphobia and transmisogyny. 
While all members of the trans community experience transphobia, trans women/feminine people experience a form of misogyny that can be and often is much more violent than transphobia. Trans women are often not heard, pushed to the back, or forces to desperately defend the oppression that they face. 

A few things to understand about trans feminine people: AMAB people are not “socialized as male.” They are, instead, socialized as trans women and because of that are placed in a very scary place where they have to reject all forms of femininity otherwise they may potentially face physical violence. Trans women have just as much of a right to feminist spaces as any other woman. Trans women are not more represented than trans men or other trans demographics. 

3.) When creating trans safe spaces, remember these two demographics! 
Whether you’re starting a trans project, creating a blog, or writing/reading trans stories–paying special attention to TPOC(Trans People of Color) as well as trans women will create more welcoming and intersectional spaces. 

As members of such a marginalized demographic, it is in the best interest of our community and our humanity to pay attention to these narratives and to validate them with more than understanding. Acknowledging the struggles of those around us, opening up our spaces to people with these experiences, and being willing to work harder to support TPOC and trans women are things that anyone, anywhere can do. 

Thank you for reading and keeping your mind open. Feel free to add to this list. 

Do not call trans people by our ‘dead names’. Don’t. Do not do it. Don’t do it as a joke, don’t do it when speaking about the past, don’t do it when speaking in third person, don’t do it when talking to other people about us when we’re not there, don’t do it even if you’ve known us by that name for 50 years, don’t do it even if you’re mad at us or trying to make a point. Don’t even do it to celebrities, not even Republican ones. Do not do it. Do not.
You are telling us, “it doesn’t matter to me that this crushes you, I am ok with holding your pain over your head, your identity isn’t real to me, and I am not your ally.”
And when you do it to one of us you say this to all of us.

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If you use, please credit me.

Picture caption: dark green text on a light green background “Tips on How to Be a Better Trans Ally:
-put your pronouns in your bio. This helps normalize that appearance ≠ identity

-offer to go to the bathroom with your trans friends -ask them whether they want you to use their old name/pronouns around parents/family/etc

-don’t out them without their consent

-if they tell you something is transphobic, LISTEN. Change your behavior. Don’t deny it.

-don’t make a huge deal when you mess up on pronouns/name, correct yourself and move on

-do not ask what their genitals are, no matter how you phrase it. Asking someone whether they are biologically a or b, what they were assigned at birth, this is all the same and its all transphobic.

-understand that no matter how hard you try, you will probably do something transphobic. That’s okay, simply apologize and move on. Learn from your mistakes! We all make them.

-don’t ask what surgeries they are getting or how they have/are transitioning. If you aren’t a doctor to which this information is pertinent to their health, you don’t need to know”