Today (March 31st) is Trans Day of Visibility and after writing a rather long post yesterday about gender, I’d thought I would include some resources not only for trans people but for others to learn more about the trans community itself. It’s important to remember the sheer amount of diversity and intersectionality that exists within the trans community – not only is there not one clear narrative but every trans individual has a multitude of identities that make them a full and complex person. And to all my trans siblings out there (whether you’re out, visible, somewhere in between, or none of the above), just want to say that I love you I love you I love you and I’m so excited you exist. Feeling like you’re the only trans person out there can be really tough but trust me, you’re not alone.
Here’s a list of some trans 101 resources and tips to being a better ally to the trans community:
- GLAAD’s transgender 101, plus! GLAAD’s tips for being an ally to the trans community
- The Sylvia Rivera Law Project’s Trans 101
- 10 Things You Can Do For Trans Day of Visibility
- Trans 101 Definitions and FAQ from I Am: Trans People Speak
- More questions? google.com
My own tips to being an ally for the trans community? (These are just my own tips from personal experience, not trying to speak for the entire community here….)
Educate yourself before asking really personal questions
- Google should be your best friend in this journey. It gets incredibly bothersome to have the same trans 101 conversation over and over again with a plethora of cis people so having a basic understanding of some 101 things (like definitions) is super nice.
- And for me at least, there’s a difference between demanding education and asking clarifying questions if you are confused by something you’ve read
- There are so many resources out there that it’s relatively easy to at least get a start on educating yourself
Do not immediately gender someone based on artificial physical traits. The person may have stereotypical feminine or masculine traits but until you know for sure, shy away from immediately guessing their gender and using potentially wrong pronouns.
- I like saying friends or folks to a group of people if I don’t all know how they identify.
Use the right pronouns and names once you know.
- If you make a mistake, fix it yourself and try not to do it again. Everyone makes mistakes but if you constantly misgender someone, it gets incredibly difficult to be around you.
Do not out someone or force them to come out
- Some trans people aren’t out to every single person in their life, while some trans people are. There are a plethora of experiences in the trans community and each individual person is in a different stage of coming out, transitioning, or anything else. Talk to the individual about how comfortable or out they might be.
- Let trans individuals tell their own stories
- Our stories have been almost constantly told without us (there are exceptions, like Janet Mocks’ book Redefining Realness) so we don’t need other people in our lives telling our own stories for us. There’s a difference between talking about issues facing the trans community and speaking for/over us.
- If possible, donate to trans organizations or individuals that might be struggling.
- Here’s one list of organizations to donate to
Some educational material includes:
- Under the Skin: The Next Fight for Transgender Insurance Equality by Parker Molloy
- Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey by Jaime M. Grant (Ph.D), Lisa A Mottet (J.D.), and Justin Tanis (D.Min)
- Stuff Mom Never Told You episode on transgender 101
- Op-Ed: The Deadly Effects of Outing by Parker Molloy
- A Note on Visibility in the Wake of 6 Trans Women’s Murders in 2015 by Janet Mock
- A PDF of research I compiled about violence against the trans community, particularly trans women of color
- Violence Against Trans Women from ContagiousQueer
- Here’s What It Would Look Like if Trans People Weren’t Allowed to Use the Right Bathroom by Parker Molloy
- The Transgender Studies Quarterly from Duke University
- Trans Etiquette 101: No Offense But That’s Offensive by Sebastian on Autostraddle
- 3 Signs We Have a Long Way to Go on Trans Rights by Parker Molloy
- My Experiences as a Young Trans Woman Engaged in Survival Sex Work by Janet Mock
General List of Issues that Impact the Trans Community:
- Racial and Economic Justice
- Police, Jails, and Prisons
- Voting Rights
- Youth and Students
A list for trans individuals:
- I Am: Trans People Speak
- A list of some resources and tips available for trans women
- Basic Rights Oregon Trans Justice Resources
- An incomplete list of housing resources and initiative for queer/LGBTQ+ people of color
- The Planned Parenthoods in the US that provide Hormone Replacement Treatment
- Trans Bodies, Trans Selves
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is in New York City and has a long list of resources, including:
- Tips for health care and interacting with police
- How to change your name in New York
- And many others
- Graphics from the Trans Student Educational Resources (the graphics in this post are from there actually!!)
- The National Center for Transgender Equality
- The Trans Lifeline
So this ended up being a hell of a lot longer than I originally anticipated. But! These are just some of the many resources available for and about the trans community. And simply raising awareness isn’t enough to fix all the issues and struggles faces by trans individuals – Elisa Resce wrote very recently that in Australia, awareness isn’t enough and that we need policy reform to really help. And it’s important to remember that there are really positive stories out there other than the negative aspects that are highlighted here and in the media. WeHappyTrans, I Am: Trans People Speak, and the Twitter hashtag #RealLifeTransAdult all highlight some amazing and wonderful stories of trans individuals.
And before I sign off and officially post this, I do want to say to all the trans individuals who are struggling in some way that you are worthy of life, you are worthy of love, you are simply worthy. We may not know each other but I can tell you right now that you are not alone in this struggle.