1. Educate yourself on the Trump administration’s efforts to “define” transgender people out of existence. The New York Times broke the story of this most recent memo.
2. Educate yourself and others on the definition of transgender – “Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex. ”
3. Get engaged. Share stories and information on your social media platforms, attend rallies and protests, and organize to fight this.
4. If you can, vote. Let your representatives in congress know that you are in support of the current “Equality Act” that will amend the Civil rights act to include protections for transgender Americans. If they don’t support it, don’t support them.
5. Help others vote. This could be helping them register to vote, reminding them of deadlines, and stressing the importance of getting to the polls.
6. Assist your trans community with voting. Help them register, offer a ride to their polling station, or offer to escort them to the polls if they feel unsafe. The National Center for Transgender Equality created this checklist as a helpful tool. Remind them they can not be turned away because there gender does not match the gender on their ID.
7. Demand transgender representation at all levels of government or office. Support transgender candidates.
8. Demand transgender representation and inclusion in your social spaces, events, and panels.
9. Respect people’s pronouns. Always. It’s ok to make mistakes — it’s not ok to not make an effort.
10. If you are unsure of the pronouns someone uses, listen to them talk about themselves and to others. If you are still unsure, ask them in a respectful and safe way. Offer up your pronouns during an introduction and ask theirs. Be aware of your surroundings, and make sure they aren’t being ‘outed’ by your questioning.
11. NEVER out a transgender person. Disclosing if someone is trans without their consent is dangerous.
12. Adjust your binary language. Pay attention to when you use words that are gendered and change your choice to be non-binary. Calling someone ‘Girl” or “Guy” if this isn’t their gender is not ok.
13. Respect that trans people are not here to educate you. If they share their experience with you, that is their choice.
14. Do not ask transgender people violating questions. This includes questions about their genitals, their sex life, or their transition process.
15. Practice consent with everyone, including trans people. Do not touch a transgender person in anyway without their consent. Refer to Planned Parenthood’s F.R.I.E.S. when practicing consent.
16. Call out transphobia whenever you see or hear it, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Do not let transgender people be made fun of, mocked, or joked about. Be the defense against transphobia even if a transgender person isn’t present.
17. Be aware of if your compliments sometimes come off as rude or backhanded. Never comment of someone’s appearance in reference to their transgender identity.
18. Don’t feed transgender stereotypes. Respect the unique identity of each and every person. Not everyone who is transgender defines themselves as queer, is out, or willing to share.
19. Understand that transgender is an umbrella term for anyone who doesn’t define themselves as cisgender. This includes gender nonconforming, non-binary, intersex, agender, third gender, genderqueer, grey gender, two-spirit, and poly gender.
20. Support all-gender restrooms.
21. If a trans person calls out your behavior — listen, learn, apologize, and adjust. Never use the excuse that you have transgender friends or relatives to defend your actions.
22. Do no fetishize transgender people. This not only means sexually, but also idolizing them in a way that is dehumanizing.
23. Know your limits as an ally. Understand when you don’t know something, need to ask questions, or should do research on a subject.
24. Respect Trans centered spaces. Only attend if you are invited and follow the rules given. Always protect the safety of trans people in community spaces while respecting their boundaries.
25. Never exclude a trans person from your event or space due to lack of funds.
26. Hire trans people!
27. Give transgender people your money. This could be picking up dinner with a friend, paypaling them for giving you information, or offering to pay for their ride.
28. Offer your trans friends rides or escort them on public transportation if that helps them feel safer.
29. Donate to trans people’s surgeries, medical expenses, and medication. These vital expenses can be massive yet aren’t covered by most health insurance plans. Go fund me is a great way to find people who need your help.
30. Support trans artists. Buy their art, attend their shows, listen to their music, and support their work.
Support local artists like Ash Yergens who’s show will have 50% off the proceeds donated to the National Center for Transgender Equality.
31. Read transgender authors. Consider starting a book club where you read, discuss, and celebrate trans authors. Here is a great list to start with.
32. Know that everyone’s experience of being trans is different and looks different. Never assume.
33. Understand that transitioning means different things to different people. There is no overall defined goal of transitioning other than what the each person individually wants.
34. Some people may change their name during their transition. Respect this person’s choice. Do not use someone’s “dead” name if they have asked you not to.
35. Educate yourself about the history of transgender experience within the United States and other cultures.
36. Understand how transgender people played a vital role in the Gay Rights Movement.
37. Know who Mary Jones, Lili Elbe, Lucy Hicks Anderson, Coccinelle, Carlett Brown, Christine Jorgesen, Marsha P Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Chelsea Manning are.
Marsha P. Johnson
38. While this current attack is an outrage, understand that trans people are subject to much more violence than cisgender people. It’s important to understand the danger that transgender people experience every day.
39. Understand that the murder rate of transgender individuals in America is alarming, especially the murder rate of transgender women of color. Between 2013 and 2017 102 transgender people were murdered, of which 86% were people of color.
40. Internalize the fact that 2018 is looking to be one of the worst years for deadly assaults on trans people. It is crucial for allies to amplify these deaths as they rarely get the media coverage they deserve.
41. There has already been 22 transgender murders this year. Say their names – Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, Viccky Gutierrez, Tonya Harvey, Celine Walker, Phylicia Mitchell, Zakaria Fry, Amia Tyrae Berryman, Sasha Wall, Carla Patricia Flores-Pavon, Nino Fortson, Antash’a English, Gigi Pierce, Cathalina Christina James, Diamond Stephens, Keisha Wells, Sasha Garden, Dejanay Stanton, Vontashia Bell, Shantee Tucker, London Moore, Nikki Enriquez, and Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier.
42. Educate your children and young relatives about transgender experiences, and how they can respect and support trans people.
43. Do not avoid having difficult conversations with family member about acknowledging and respecting trans people. In fact, be the one to start the conversation!
44. Support trans and non-binary journalists and media outlets.
46. Buy from trans owned businesses and support the development of trans centered products.
47. Donate and volunteer to transgender organizations. Some great ones are the Trans Lifeline, the Transgender Law Center, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Gender Proud, Trans Women of Color Collective, and Gender Diversity.
48. Know the number to the Trans Lifeline – 1 877 565 8860
49. Treat transgender people with humanity and respect.
50. Check in with the transgender people in your life, offer your support, and let them know they are loved.
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