Cis folks: do better
If you follow U.S. politics in the slightest, you’re aware that the latest shit President Dungbat Turnip pulled out his incompetent ass was the removal of federal protections for trans students who are literally just tryna piss in peace.
I’m not here to talk about that pile of absolute shit.
Even if you didn’t skim through a news article on that particular decision, if you spent any time on Twitter yesterday, you probably noticed one trending hashtag: #ProtectTransKids
The hashtag was frequently used, no doubt, by cisgender people who like thinking of themselves as allies to the trans community.
I’m here to clarify something for those people: y’all need to do better.
This is not the first time that trans folks have been hurt. This is not the first threat to our safety, not the first hurdle we’ve had to claw over. This is not where it began, and this is not where it ends.
So listen up, cis folks. Here are some tips on being a halfway decent ally/not being a douchebag:
- Use our fucking pronouns. Simple.
No, Becky, I don’t give a fuck that you aren’t accustomed to using “they” as a pronoun. Get used to it. And no, Tommy, I don’t have to grow a full beard for you to call me “he”. This is respecting trans people at a very basic level, and if you can ask my fucking mother what gender my cats are, you sure as fuck can clarify my pronouns with me. Also, names. Respect preferred names along with pronouns. If you got the time to remember that Richard goes by “Dick”, you can respect that my friend’s name is Audrey.
- Don’t ask us invasive/dumb questions.
Don’t ask us if we’ve had surgery, what our “real” names are, anything to do with our genitalia, “why” we’re trans, etc.
Stuff like that is disrespectful, and also sometimes plain stupid. Why am I trans? IDK, why don’t caterpillars drink soda every Wednesday?
- Realize that we aren’t all teaching a crash course in “Trans 101”
It is literally not our job to educate you. We will share what we know, IF we want to do so. But we are not a Wikipedia page for you to browse, and we are not responsible for shit you need to go learn for yourself. No, I cannot list every gender that exists and no, I will not recite to you the entire history of queerness in South Asian culture.
- Do more than tweet.
Donate to trans folks in need. Instead of retweeting a heartfult tweet with a crying emoji and a hashtag, get on paypal or square cash, and donate to trans folks — things like hormone therapy and binders cost money. There are a lot of homeless trans youth struggling with enough as it is, and financial stress is a really shitty burden you can help with. Know a trans person who is searching for clothes to help them feel more comfortable in their body? Help them find their size. They might not be used to the way some gendered clothes are sized.
- Give a shit about us year-round, even when we don’t make the headlines of mainstream media.
Y’all truly don’t give a shit about us till something that NYT and CNN deem news-worthy happens to us. Recognize that this is actually not the worst thing that has happened to trans youth. Recognize that trans folks commit suicide even when you aren’t tweeting a hashtag. Recognize that even when you aren’t reading a headline with “transgender” in it, trans femmes of color are being murdered.
tl;dr — cis people, do better.