It’s important that cisgender and transgender people work together to support transgender people and issues, and to end transphobic harassment and discrimination.
Support is important.
Transgender people are more visible in the media and in our society than ever before. Transgender communities are fighting for equal rights. While great progress has been made, there’s still a lot of work to do to make sure everyone feels safe expressing their true gender identity and are given the same rights as cisgender people.
Far too many transgender people are negatively affected by transphobia. Transphobia can result in violence and even murder. It can also result in depression, substance abuse, self-harm, and suicide. A 2011 survey conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality showed that 41% of trans people had attempted suicide, as compared to 1.6% of the general population.
It’s important that everyone — cisgender and transgender — work together to create communities that are welcoming to trans and gender nonconforming people. Everyone deserves to live in a world free of violence and discrimination, including those whose gender identity and expression doesn’t match their assigned sex. Everyone can play a part in supporting transgender people and making communities safer and more inclusive.
What do I call people who are transgender?
Respect the words a person uses to describe themselves. Transgender and gender nonconforming people use many different terms to describe their experiences and not all terms fit all people. Some trans people may use terms that others are uncomfortable with. It’s important to ask people what language they want you to use. It’s okay to ask someone for their preferred name and pronouns. Always use the name and pronouns they choose.
If a trans person isn’t sure which identity label fits them best, give them the time to figure it out for themselves. The terms or language a person prefers may change over time, and that’s totally normal and okay.
Where can I learn more about transgender rights?
PFLAG National's publication, "Our Trans Loved Ones: Questions and Answers for Parents, Families, and Friends of People Who Are Transgender and Gender Expansive"
PFLAG's Straight for Equality site and “Guide to Being a Trans Ally"