November 20th is the transgender day of remembrance.
Being an ally is important. It lets everyone around you know that you are supportive and attentive to the needs of others. Being an ally demonstrates that you want to help change the world for marginalized communities even if you are not necessarily part of a particular group. It also makes it more difficult for friends and loved ones to be discriminatory when someone is there to stop them.
I am not transgender and I do not in anyway assume I know everything there is to know about their reality. We do have a few transsexuals in the family and I feel some of what they share with us needs to be told. If you are transgender and would like your voice heard, I would love to have you as a guest writer on my blog. You are the experts and know what’s best for you.
Many assume that all transgender individuals want to pass as a cisgender person. This is not the case for everyone. Forcing people into gender roles can only cause harm. Anyone who is comfortable with who they are is so gorgeous! Why is it anyone’s business what’s under their clothes anyway? Is respecting human beings for who they are, and who they identify as, really so terrible?
Be kind, be courteous, patient and caring with all people. Smiling and asking about someone’s day can go a long way when that someone is used to facing stares or harassment.
As cisgender we never have to worry about access to washrooms. Think about the entitlements you take for granted and fight for those who don’t have the same rights.
Listen when transgender individuals share their experiences of transphobia. Listen to how you can provide support and be an ally. You may need to stand beside someone to support them. Listen to them and walk with them through an experience.
Nobody’s safety should be in jeopardy from people who fear them for no sane reason. You may need to stand in front of someone to help them avoid harm or hurt.
Apologize when you make a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes, I certainly do, and that’s okay. If and when someone points out your mistake, acknowledge the wrong that has been done, apologize and learn from it, instead of getting defensive. It isn’t always about intent, but about impact.