02 6 / 2013
Following are the health issues GMLA’s (Gay Lesbian Medical Association) healthcare providers have identified as most commonly of concern for transgender persons. While not all of these items apply to everyone, it’s wise to be aware of these issues.
12 3 / 2013
(because a lot of the time even in the lgbtq community, nonbinary identities are often ignored which is pretty upsetting):
- there are essentially an infinite number of genders, not just “boy” and “girl” and sometimes nonbinary folks don’t even identify themselves with any particular gender at all! and that’s okay!
- physical appearance doesn’t have to have anything to do with someone’s gender identity. agender/genderqueer/otherwise nonbinary folks are not obligated in any way to present in a traditionally “androgynous” manner.
- they/them/their pronouns are actually grammatically correct, and even if they weren’t, that’s no excuse to not use someone’s preferred pronouns! a person’s comfort is more important than grammar.
- there are also lots of other sets of pronouns that people might identify with and even if they sound like “made-up words” who cares. all words were “made-up words” at some point. be nice.
- as always, don’t ask nonbinary folks rude or invasive questions about their gender that you wouldn’t ask a cis person. how or if that person has sex/if they want any surgical procedures or hormone therapy/their sexuality is none of your business and has no effect on the validity of their gender. if someone tells you what their preferred pronouns are or how they identify, that’s all you need to know and should be supportive and thankful that they shared that much with you. if they specifically tell you (unprompted to do so) that they want to talk about anything else re: their gender identity, then continue to be kind and supportive.
- do not make someone else’s gender struggles about you. do not make a big deal about how “confusing they’re being” and how “hard/weird” it is for you personally to accept their gender. listen to them and make an effort to let them know that you care and you are willing to do what you can to make them feel comfortable and safe around you. being trans* is hard, and being nonbinary can be even harder.
12 2 / 2013
if you accidentally misgender someone, or say the wrong name, just correct yourself in the same manner as if you called a cis person by the wrong name or pronouns, which is not unknown because we are all capable of verbal slips.
sometimes i accidentally call people my dog’s name, or i call them “mom”
the right way to do this is “[wrong name], excuse me, [correct name]” or “[wrong pronoun], I’m sorry [correct pronoun]”
if you accidentally mess up someone’s pronouns, do not call attention to it by falling over yourself to apologize.
conversely, do not just move on and hope they didn’t notice. they definitely noticed. not correcting yourself is offensive, and pretending that you didn’t mess up is a form of gaslighting.
if you feel like going the extra mile, apologize the next time you’re alone with them, without excuses. say “I’m sorry that I misgendered you” or “I’m sorry called you the wrong name.”
do not say “it’s so hard, and i keep forgetting! I’m so bad!” trans people hear this over and over, and the message is that they should apologize for being who they are.
if someone close to you has changed their name and/or pronouns, and you’re having a difficult time with it, maybe you should practice at home.