For the longest time, the trans community and its people have been quiet about their identity, rights, and wants. They have been rebelling against the molds created by society and challenging the shackles of societal norms and expectations. But now, with a rise in their representation, trans people have finally started speaking up for themselves; accepting who they are and what they want to be.
This groundbreaking development has also forced many people into thinking about how they should address this community in a more respectful manner. What questions should they ask them, and how should they make them feel more comfortable? If questions like these keep you up at night too, worry not, for we've got your back. Listed below are some things you must avoid when conversing with trans people.
#1 - What's Your Real Name?
Oftentimes, when trans people tell someone their names, they're asked about their real ones instead. Though it may seem perfectly reasonable to you, it’s important to be respectful enough to realize that they have already given you a name to refer to them with.
#2 - When Did You Decide to Switch Genders?
Many people believe being transgender is a decision that is up to the person who makes it, but in reality, it's not. Transgenders, in a cruel twist of fate, are born with the wrong gender and are never quite comfortable in their own body. And since they are too young to realize or speak about it at the time, it takes a while for them to identify their true selves and figure out what they want from life.
#3 - You’re Actually Kind of Attractive. How Did You Pull That off?
You might have heard people ridiculing trans people's fashion sense or appearance. But by saying that they live up to your beauty standards or you find them attractive despite who they are, you're actually insulting them. In reality, phrases like this are, in fact, backhanded compliments. If you genuinely want to compliment them, maybe you can opt for a better approach and go with something like “I like your outfit.”
#4 - I'm Impressed. You Look Just Like a Real Woman!
That’s probably the most derogatory remark you can give to any person irrespective of who they are or what they look like. Trans people are no different than the rest of us, so saying that they look exactly like you, or a ‘normal’ person is like making them stand out of the crowd in a bad way. They aren’t aliens, you know.
#5 - Can I See a Picture of You Before You Transitioned?
Coming out as a trans person is already tough for people in a judgemental society. A lot is probably going on in their lives so constantly reminding them about a period of their lives that they have since forgotten and moved on from is rather tactless. It may hurt them, so try to be as delicate as possible when approaching subjects like these.
Wrapping it Up
Trans people perpetually deal with a lot more than most of us in their respective daily lives. Throughout history, their community has had an endless struggle just to be recognized as normal people and attain basic rights that we all usually take for granted, so the next time you talk to a trans person, choose your words carefully.