Definitions:

 
  • A Transgender person is someone whose sex at birth doesn’t match the gender they know themselves to be.

  • Intersex people are people who are born with both male and female sex organs or other sexual characteristics or have chromosomes that are neither XX or XY.

  • Gender Expansive (additionally, gender fluid, gender queer, non-binary) refers to people who identify as both male and female.

How to be an Ally for people who are Transgender:

 

A Transgender person is someone whose sex at birth doesn’t match the gender they know themselves to be.

Harassment, discrimination, barriers and potential violence are common occurrences in the lives of many transgender people who repeatedly encounter people telling them they have  no right to be who they are.

Here are key ways you can help:

  • Accept people for who they are.

Accept how an individual identifies even if it doesn’t make sense to you.  If someone has told you how they identify, don’t continue to make other assumptions about their identity. Avoid comments and attitudes relating to how well or poorly someone “passes”.If you think someone is “really” one sex even though they’ve told you they’re another, you are mistaken.

  • Use the correct pronouns.

Pronouns matter!  Use the pronoun that corresponds with how the individual identifies.  If you are unsure how a person identifies ASK them..  If you make a mistake, briefly apologize and move on after making a mental note to get it right next time.  If you keep using an incorrect pronoun for the same person, practice at home or with a friend.

If a person uses the wrong pronoun when referring to an individual, it is important to correct the person politely then move on with the conversation. 

If someone corrects your pronoun use (whether it’s a trans person or an ally), avoid being defensive or expressing your opinion that the individual’s preferred pronoun doesn’t match their gender presentation.  Acknowledge the correction and move on with the conversation.

  • Don’t “out” or tell someone else that someone is transgender without the transgender person’s specific permission.

This is extremely important for the safety and comfort of trans individuals.

  • Think before you ask questions.

It’s  not appropriate to ask questions you wouldn’t ask a non transgendered person; such as what sort of genitals they have, how do they have sex,  what was their name before transition, and have they had “The Surgery”. 

  • Educate yourself.

There are lots of books, websites, films, and workshops. 

If you have a respectful, appropriate question, it’s OK to ask  and honor an individual’s right not to answer it. ​​

Advocacy:

 

One Colorado:

One Colorado is the state’s leading advocacy organization dedicated to advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families.

GLADD:

GLADD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love.

 

Legal

  • Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. 

 

  • Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, community organizing and public policy efforts. TLDEF’s in-house legal program brings test-case litigation with wide impact in all areas of transgender civil rights. From fighting employment discrimination to ensuring equal access to health care, we're working tirelessly for transgender equal rights. 

 

Activism and Social Justice

  • The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.                                                                                  By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nation's capital and around the country.

 

Resources:

Additional Information:

  • www.gendertalk.com

  • Orientation Police/The Amazing Adventures of Bill - http://comics.billroundy.com/?p=1116

  • The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC)

  • My Gender Workbook by Kate Bornstein

  • Transgender 101 A Simple Guide To A Complex Issue by Nicholas M. Teich

  • Just Add Hormones- An Insider’s Guide to the Transsexual Experience by Matt Kailey

  • Beyond Magenta, Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin

  • Trans-Kin, A Guide for Family and Friends of Transpeople

Local Organizations:

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