To the cis person angrily sharing news of the Trump transgender military ban

AC Dumlao (they/he)
3 min readJul 26, 2017
ID: “TRUMP” spelled out in scrabble tiles, on top of blank tiles (CC0 Public Domain)

Hi. If you’re a cisgender person angrily sharing the news about Trump’s ban of transgender people in the military, consider the following.

- This is not a future hypothetical in which we need to protect people who want to be in the military. There are trans military serving as we speak. There are trans veterans waking up to this news.

- Are you framing your posts with a call to protect trans people? Similar to #ProtectTransKids — while this means well, it also infantilizes the trans community. Stand with trans people. Support trans people who have been fighting for their rights. See the difference?

- What do you do to support trans people? I don’t need answers, but I want you to think about whether you:

- Actively use peoples’ pronouns both when they’re around and not around. Do you correct other cis people when they misgender someone? Use their deadname?

- Do you intake media by trans people? TV? Books? Articles? Art? Music?

- Do you laugh at jokes like Trump being made up with makeup? Do you realize this is transphobic? Do you perpetuate the idea that trans women are really men, even in the most innocent, subtle way?

- Do you know about the epidemic of trans women of color being murdered in the U.S. and beyond? Do you share these articles? Do you sad react them? Do you avoid them?

- Do you actively use your privilege as a cis person to make the world better for your trans siblings?

Trump is trash garbage. But he is also one man of many cis people who live in privilege. Some of the biggest perpetrators of transphobia I’ve experienced are my very own cis LGB siblings.

You likely won’t get Trump to stop being terrible. But you can look in the mirror and be better.

The more people that take up this work to be better, the more people that truly support trans equality and justice = the less transphobia, transantagonism, and anti-trans laws and policies will come into our world. Until they are squashed for good.

As a trans non-binary person myself, I am not above self-reflection and bettering myself when it comes to dismantling the transphobia and transantagonism I was taught growing up.

That is to say: I have work to do, too. Will you join me?

You can follow AC’s social justice musings on Twitter and Facebook.

This piece was originally published on Call Me They and has been republished on Huffington Post.

AC Dumlao uses they/them pronouns. They are a queer transgender non-binary first-generation American and child of Filipino immigrants. As an activist and educator, their focus is on centering and uplifting underrepresented and multiply marginalized people and their communities. In 2019, AC was named a NYC/WorldPride Community Hero, during the 50th anniversary year of the Stonewall Uprising.

AC was recently seen at The Wing for an advance screening and talkback with Lisa Ling for the CNN Original Series’ episode “This is Life with Lisa Ling: Gender Fluidity.” In 2017, AC was profiled by NBC Asian America for the inaugural “Redefine A to Z” list of Asian-American & Pacific Islander “emerging voices and breakout stars.” AC’s advocacy work and words have been in The Huffington Post, VICE Media, Allure Magazine, Business Insider,, The Advocate, and more. For their activism, they have received honors from Parity and the New York State Comptroller.

AC is an alum of Vassar College, where they studied Drama and Psychology. They serve as a co-chair of Vassar’s LGBTQ+ alumnae/i/x affinity group. At their core, AC is an artist and thanks their theatrical education and training for instilling the guiding principle of their work and their life: a commitment to radical authenticity and genuine connections in order to honor the human dignity that all people deserve.



AC Dumlao (they/he)

Creator, Call Me They on Facebook. Queer/bi+ trans non-binary FilAm educator, activist, artist, internet human. TW: @mxacdumlao.