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If there’s only one woman in your candidate pool, there’s statistically no chance she’ll be hired
Learning to be an ally to the transgender people in your life, or to transgender people overall, is an ongoing process. Some ways to be a good ally are relatively simple and easy, while others require more time, energy, and commitment. One of the most important parts of being an ally to transgender people is learning what it means to be transgender. For information on identity, language, and other issues facing transgender people you can visit Frequently Asked Questions about Transgender PeopleUnderstanding Non-Binary Peopleand our About Transgender People hubwhich has links to various resources and educational material.
The transgender community is diverse and complex, coming from every region of the United States and around the world, from every racial and ethnic background, and from every faith community. This means that different members of the transgender community have different needs and priorities. Similarly, there is no one right way to handle every situation, or interact with every trans person.
Be respectful, do your Looking for just one real woman, and keep trying. Since there is no one transgender experience, there is no one way for transgender people to look, either. Continue to educate yourself.
One of the simplest ways to be a strong ally is to take your education into your own hands. A few great places to start:. This section includes information on respectfully interacting with transgender individuals one-on-one or when in a small group. Use the language a transgender person uses for themselves. No two transgender people are exactly the same, and different transgender people may use different words to describe themselves. You should follow the lead of each transgender person, as they will best know the language that is right for them.
A simple way to see what pronouns someone uses—he, she, they, or something else—is to wait and see if it comes up naturally in conversation. How about you? Making a big deal out of a pronoun mistake may be awkward and often draws unwanted attention to the transgender person. Be careful and considerate about what other questions you ask. There are many topics—medical transition, life pre-transition, sexual activity—that you may be curious about. There are two questions you can ask yourself Looking for just one real woman may help determine if a topic is appropriate to bring up:. Beyond that, though, you may be curious about questions that are not things you truly need to know.
For example, it would probably not feel appropriate for a coworker to ask you about your private areas of your body.
Here are some specific topics that many transgender people are uncomfortable discussing with anyone but those closest to them:. Just because someone has Looking for just one real woman you that they are transgender does not necessarily mean that they have told everyone in their life. Similarly, transgender people should be the ones to decide how much information is being shared: a transgender person may be open about being trans, but only want to discuss medical issues with certain close friends.
Avoid compliments or advice based on stereotypes about transgender people, or about how men and women should look or act. People sometimes intend to be supportive but unintentionally hurt transgender people by focusing on their looks or whether they conform to gender stereotypes. Here are some examples of what to avoid, as they often feel like backhanded compliments:. This section includes information on being an outspoken ally in larger groups, at work or at school.
Speak out in support of transgender people and transgender rights. Politely correct others if they use the wrong name or pronoun for a transgender person. More broadly, it is important to challenge anti-transgender remarks, jokes, and conversations.
Support transgender people who experience discrimination.
Make it clear that you will support the transgender people in your life whether or not they decide to make formal complaints. Think about how you use gendered language. Consider changing your habits to avoid making assumptions about people's gender or pronouns, and encouraging the people in your life to do the same. This can take time and effort, but is an important way to be an ally and support transgender people outside of individual, face-to-face interactions.
Learn about policies affecting transgender people. Are there any laws that protect transgender people where you live? Any policies at work or school that are inclusive of transgender people? Rethink gender on forms and documents. When creating forms and documents, consider whether you need Looking for just one real woman include gender at all. Many times, we default to asking for gender without considering why or how that information will be used. Ensure everyone has access to bathrooms and other facilities. Everyone should be able to safely and comfortably use bathrooms and other gendered facilities.
Push for support and inclusivity, not simply tolerance. A baseline of tolerance—allowing transgender people to exist—is an important start, but we can do more.
The assimilationist, or: on the unexpected cost of passing as a trans woman
If your school brings outside speakers or hosts events, make sure that some of them include transgender people and topics. If your business donates to nonprofits, look into partnering with organizations that support the transgender community. If your organization posts community events on social media, include some from the transgender community. Craft a transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination policy.
Shifting the culture of an organization takes time. Call your elected officials. Visit Make Your Voice Heard for more information. This could be as simple as calling your elected officials, or as involved as a letter-writing campaign or collecting atures for a ballot measure.
Change the curriculum of medical, health, crisis response and social work programs, or bring in trainers, to teach these providers about transgender people and how to treat transgender people with respect and professionalism. Include information about the rejection, discrimination and violence that transgender people face and how to provide services and support to transgender clients.
Work with schools to make them safe for transgender students by implementing all the recommendations in our Model Looking for just one real woman District Policy on Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students. Work with homeless shelters to make them safe for transgender people by implementing all the recommendations in Transitioning Our Shelters: A Guide to Making Homeless Shelters Safe for Transgender People. Work with suicide prevention, HIV prevention and treatment, alcohol and drug abuse treatment, and anti-smoking programs to ensure that their work is trans-inclusive and their staff is knowledgeable about transgender issues.
Find trainers and teach them how to deal sensitively with trans people seeking assistance. Work with police departments to have fair written policies with regard to interacting with transgender members of the public, regardless if they are seeking assistance or being arrested, and make sure all police officers are trained on following the policy and treating transgender people with respect. Work with jail and prison systems to ensure the respectful and safe treatment of transgender prisoners, starting with implementing the recommendations of Standing with LGBT Prisoners.
Take a step back.
Transgender people come from every population, and are of all races, religions, ages, and more. There are transgender immigrants, employees, prisoners, sex workers, and every other category imaginable.
Make an effort to be as inclusive as possible of all kinds of transgender people when working to support transgender communities. Hopefully by this point you feel armed with the tools and knowledge needed to be an ally to the transgender people in your life, as well as the larger transgender community. Issues Resources. July 9, A few great places to start: Frequently Asked Questions about Transgender People Understanding Non-Binary People About Transgender People Interacting with Transgender People This section includes information on respectfully interacting with transgender individuals one-on-one or when Looking for just one real woman a small group.
Changing Businesses, Schools, and More Rethink gender on forms and documents. Changing the World Call your elected officials. Putting it All into Action Hopefully by this point you feel armed with the tools and knowledge needed to be an ally to the transgender people in your life, as well as the larger transgender community.
Thanks for being a strong ally!