Opinion: How to give respect when you really don’t know anything about anyone who’s transgender.

Here’s a simple little guide for all the friends or family out there in the world who may have had someone in their lives who maybe recently has come out as transgender, or have even known for a while, and just didn’t know what to do in certain situations.

You may be someone who doesn’t know anything about transgender people, or even a seasoned LGBT ally… but the first thing you must remember is to just think before you speak, have a little bit of common sense, throw in a dash of empathy, and try to imagine that this is just another person just like you… maybe with just a little bit better sense of fashion! ;D

{ If you would like to see something on this list feel free to post in the comment section, or even send it to my email: thePhoebeStone@yahoo.com }

  • If you don’t all ready understand the gender spectrum, it can be really simple if you realize that there are just the 4 basic parts that all lay on a sliding scale from masculine to feminine of how a person can be (for more info look up Argument #8)…

    1. Sex – their physical and anatomical characteristics
    2. Gender Identity – the gender they see themselves as
    3. Gender Expression – the gender they are presented as
    4. Sexual Orientation – sexual/romantic attraction of person

    Gender is in no way black and white, and this fundamental concept NEEDS to be understood by, and in my opinion, taught to everyone for there to finally be full acceptance of the LGBT community.

  • Being called by the right name and pronouns really can have a PROFOUND effect on the happiness of the transgender individual, and how they may act towards you. Take this one from me personally, when someone truly understands and calls me by my name, and talks about me as she and her, I really feel like that person gets it and understands that even though I was born with a male body, and am in the middle of this transition in which I still have many of my male characteristics, they see me for who I really am. This is such the greatest feeling in the world to me after almost 30 years of being called by something I am not! I think for the people that constantly misgender me I am going to start calling them by the opposite pronouns and then see how they like it!Really though, I can understand it can be tough sometimes when it comes to someone you’ve known for a long time and always have referred to said person in one way or another, but in the end that person may just end up not wanting to be around you anymore if you continue, or you may even accidentally push them over an edge that could lead to disastrous consequences for that person… and I mean it too! Most of us may be okay with who we are, but for some more than others it has been a much steeper path to walk, in heels, facing backwards. You may not realize that some people may be on this edge of a cliff of depression that’s all due to a constant barrage of misunderstandings from those closest to them… so please, just try to do your best here! We’re all human and make mistakes, but mistakes are meant to be learned from and corrected! I will be honest too, my ex had two sisters she always talked about, and three brothers as well, but only one brother we really only talked about on a regular basis, who is now another sister of hers… and I will admit that even for me it took me a bit to stop saying brother out of simplicity of conversing!

    I want to also point out, if you don’t know the preference of the person in question, then either politely ask in a discreet manner, or ask someone who may know. Simple! Just don’t make a big scene about it because that can lead to a lot of social anxiety that this person probably has enough of all ready.

  • Realize that not all transgender individuals are open to discussion about private matters about themselves. It is not the responsibility of the transgender person to inform you on what it is to be transgender, this is the sole responsibility of YOU the reader. What I mean to say here is that, sure there are a lot of us that are pretty open like myself, and who love to share the truths of the matter with those who want to listen, but there are a lot more than you would think that just want to live their lives and not be hounded with all these questions… and specially personal ones like “What do you have going on ‘down there’?” Thit is equivalent to say, me seeing that you are a deliveryman who is working, and here comes someone asking what it’s like to have to deliver all those packages, and how do you keep everything organized in the truck, and how do you know where to go, and oh yeah, how big is your penis? Sure, some may be more than happy to fill you in on this information, but most the time they just want to get their jobs done and be on their way… WITHOUT that pressure and wondering about equipment!

A couple more good points I make in Argument #9, and so to not be redundant please feel free to read that post as well. All in all I just want to show that we are human beings who need civil respect by those closest to us to live and maintain a healthy living, just like anyone else. We each have our own individual experiences that make us who we are, and none of us are alike in any way, so what’s good for one may not necessarily be the best for another… this is all part of the human condition like anything else. If you maintain being a respectful person to anyone, then you also deserve the same respect. It’s called “the Golden Rule” if you aren’t in the know, “Do onto others as you would want done onto you.” and if everyone were to ACTUALLY start living by this rule, I PROMISE WITHOUT A DOUBT that the world would be a better place!!!

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