Here are some tips for people who want to support transgender people. No matter you are their friends or family, you can help them in some way. There are many types of transgender people. Regardless of their orientation, such as so-called grindr trans or straight trans, there are common ways that are always safe to treat them. If you are a transgender supporter, you are able to change the attitude of other people feel towards transgender people.
Do not try to identify someone if he/she is transgender by the appearance. There are no certain rules or laws for all transgender people. They come from different backgrounds with different personality. Many transgender people pass so well that you don’t even have a clue of their identity. Do not look around and observe people to see if they are transgender, and you shouldn’t do that. It is not very respectful. Just like that you shouldn’t search people that are gay men. It is possible that they might be both—grindr trans.
Do not make groundless assumption about one’s orientation. Sexual identity and sexual orientation do not correlate. She may not be a transgender woman, but it is very possible that she is a lesbian and into female. He might be a trans man, while he can also be bisexual or grindr trans. There are no way to find out about that unless you hear them say it to you. Therefore, do not make random guess about their orientation, or they will just think of you as some random person who no nothing about transgender people.
If you don’t know what pronouns you should use, just listen first. Normally, transgender women prefer someone to address themselves as she and her. Trans men prefer to be addressed as he and him. If you haven’t heard anyone address them, you can ask directly. Would you like me to address you as he or she? It is okay to ask, but it will be less okay to address it wrong without asking. If you make a mistake accidentally, please apologize sincerely and right away, then you can continue your conversation.
Do not ask what their real name is. For many transgender people, one of the major issue that cause gender dysphoria is their original name. It is like a reminder of their past, which they prefer not to think of. Respect their current name. If you happen to know someone’s birth name which is no longer used, please do not share it to other people unless he/she wants you to.
Here are the tips I would like to offer you if you are one of transgender supporters. I hope you can really stand by their side and support them no matter how the rest of the world perceives them.