At this year’s Transgender Day of Visibility, we share simple tips and suggestions to help you become an ally for trans* people. You want to learn more about #TDOV and what an ally is? Here, we have put together some useful information for you.
The Transgender Day of
- especially in Germany, trans* is a collective term in which the * represents the many names and expressions of gender and gender identity which go far beyond transsexual, transident, etc.
“What to do as an ally to support trans* people?”
What is an ally?
In general, allies are people who show solidarity to others. LGBT*IQ-allies show solidarity to people who are socially disadvantaged and/ or discriminated against, because of their gender identity, expression, and sexuality.
There are different possibilities for solidarity with and support of trans* people. The examples given here are only an excerpt and not an exhaustive list. Rather, the tips are to be understood as inspiration in order to deal more consciously with the subject.
Search explicitly for trans* relevant topics on the internet.
To get started, films, series, websites or social media channels can be helpful for a first approach to the topic. For your convenience, we have shared some interesting ones with you:
- Becoming a Visible Man (2004): Autobiography and Commentary by Jamison Green.
- A Fantastic Woman (2017): Oscar-winning film about a trans* woman.
- Girl (2018): A film about a fifteen-year-old trans* girl.
- Romeos (2011): German film about a gay trans* man.
- Pose (2018): TV-Series about the 1980s New York ball culture world with the biggest trans* cast for scripted series.
Think about how you use gendered language.
Language has a direct influence on our thinking as well as our perception of the world. Gendered language is, therefore, an essential factor for a non-discriminatory interaction with each other and actively promotes the equality of all genders. At the moment we are working on the publication of a guideline especially for gendered language. Once this is available on our website, we will let you know.
If you are familiar with German: A concrete point of contact is fair language, which, for example, offers a browser plugin that automatically suggests alternative gender-inclusive phrases. Anyone looking for an overview of alternatives for specific terms can find what they are looking for online at the Gender Dictionary. In addition, as part of the introduction of the third option in Germany, we have published a HOW TO: Guide, which, among other things, deals with gender-inclusive alternatives to common formulations.
Do you know a trans* person?
You know one or more trans* person(s), but do not know how to talk to them? Then, hopefully, the suggestions for “Speak” will be helpful.
You do not know a trans* person? In times of social media it has become easier: Search, for example, with the keyword “trans*” for suitable profiles on Instagram and get in touch with someone. Alternatively, you can also find out about local events for LGBT*IQ-people. The chance to get into a conversation with a trans* person is probably higher.
Use the language a trans* person uses for themselves.
Do not ask the person for their “real” or “old” name and their associated pronoun. Respect that the person has dropped this one. Just use the desired pronoun, not your guess. Are there any uncertainties? Just skip to the next suggestion.
Do not have any fear of questions you would also answer.
If something is unclear to you: ask politely. Simply do not ask any question that would make you feel uncomfortable.
Avoid compliments or advice based on stereotypes about trans* people.
In general, stereotypes give us security by organizing our environment and giving us positive self-esteem and a sense of belonging to a certain group. This distinguishes us from others, but can also devalue “the other”. For example, when it comes to gender stereotypes, statements like “You look like a real woman!” or “A real man does not wear such clothes.” can be hurtful for trans* people. Because: one’s own sexual expression is a very individual and personal matter. Just accept the person.
Speak out for trans* rights and fight against the discrimination of trans* people.
After you have already informed yourself, you can now take action. For example, by participating in demonstrations, making a donation to organizations or volunteering in clubs. There are a variety of ways to work for the rights and against the discrimination of trans* people. Just do some research on the internet. Here we have only a small excerpt for you:
- Bundesvereinigung trans*: Strengthen gender self-determination and diversity.
- trans* – Ja und?: The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth and is committed to empower and fight against discrimination of young trans * people.
- Transmann e.V.: A nationwide and non-profit association for women-to-men (FzM / FtM) Trans* and Inter* persons.
- TransInterQueer e.V.: This is an association that works for trans*, inter* and queer people.
- PROUT AT WORK-Foundation: We are also committed to equal opportunities for trans* people in the workplace. Therefore we are working closely with companies and LGBT*IQ-networks.
- Human Rights Campaign: For more information about the TDOV on an international level.
Visit an event about trans* in your city.
There is certainly a suitable event in your area. Whether a film festival or a get-together. Inform yourself in advance, if the events are really open for everyone. If not, respect that and just ask for other dates you can attend. Be creative and keep your eyes open!
Continue to educate yourself.
Stay interested. Every trans* person is just as unique and as individual as you! Get involved with them and treat them as you would like to be treated.