Real Talk With Trans People

(Editor: Pam – fun and informative, check it out!) by Leela Ginelle September 7 2015

Real Talk With Trans People How to be an ally.

Words can cut, like knives slicing open wounds. For transgender folk, loaded lingo has long made us feel unseen and unwelcome. Now there’s a growing acceptance that we all need to stop using words that reduce trans people to their clothing (“transvestite”) or their genitals (“transsexual”), or that are plain offensive (“tr-nny”).

But words can also be like thread and pull us closer together. So what should a non-trans person say and know? This timely guide can help you master pronouns and avoid trampling on trans people’s privacy and feelings. Let’s do this!

These acronyms stand for “Assigned Male at Birth” and “Assigned Female at Birth.” Trans folks prefer “assigned” (or sometimes “designated”) over phrases like “born a man” or “female to male,” which imply, wrongly, that those identities were ever correct. Nope. Genitals aren’t gender, plain and simple.

Shit Cis People Say:
“Chloe used to be a man,” “David was born a woman,” or “Desiree’s a male to female transsexual.”

“Bathroom Bill”
A public restroom can be a unique form of hell for trans men and women, a place ripe for misunderstandings and harassment. Some conservative lawmakers are trying to amp up the awkwardness by supporting so-called bathroom bills, a pejorative term for legislation intended to force people to use the toilets corresponding to their assigned gender. So far these efforts have all failed, but new bills seem to pop up like weeds. Let’s keep it classy, friends, and not criminalize the need to pee.