6 Steps to Embracing Your Role as a Trans Ally

By Karis Allen

In a world where we’re seeing an increase in transphobic rhetoric, now more than ever the transgender community needs support and allyship. In our journey towards creating a more inclusive and accepting society, it is crucial to actively support and advocate for transgender individuals. By becoming a trans ally, you can make a meaningful impact in promoting understanding, respect, and equality. Here are six key steps to guide you on your journey towards becoming a supportive and effective trans ally.

1.Educate Yourself:

Seek understanding of transgender identities, experiences, and issues. Understanding the challenges and triumphs faced by transgender individuals is key to being an effective ally and will equip you with the knowledge to challenge transphobic rhetoric. Remember, while it may be uncomfortable to confront transphobic rhetoric, by doing so, you have the potential to alleviate that discomfort for someone else.
Helpful resources can be found in our ‘Recommendations’ section below.

2. Always avoid assumptions:

Ask yourself: “What do I think I know, and what do I actually know?”

You should never assume that you can tell someone’s gender just by looking at them. The safest, most dignified thing to do when someone tells you they are transgender is to allow them to define their identity for you, without challenging it.

If you are ever with someone who assumes another person’s gender, kindly but firmly course correct them.

3. Listen and Learn:

Take the time to actively listen to the experiences and stories shared by transgender individuals. Respect their lived experiences and validate their feelings. Be open to learning from their perspectives and avoid making assumptions or generalisations. Remember, everyone's journey is unique, and it is essential to approach each person with empathy and an open mind.

4. Choose your words thoughtfully:

Language plays a crucial role in creating a safe and inclusive environment. Respect people's chosen names and pronouns. If you are unsure about someone's pronouns, politely ask, use their name, or use gender-neutral pronouns like they/them until you receive clarification. Remember; it’s okay to get someone’s pronouns wrong. What’s important is what you do from there. Apologise and correct yourself. If you continue to misgender an individual after they’ve corrected you, that’s where a respect breakdown occurs. Helpful resources can be found in our ‘Recommendations’ section below.

5. Amplify Trans Voices:

One of the most powerful ways to demonstrate allyship is to amplify trans voices and stories. After doing your own learning and reflecting, share articles, videos, and social media posts created by transgender individuals. Attend events and support organisations that advocate for transgender rights. By actively promoting their work, you contribute to greater visibility and understanding.

Here are six very different, but equally as impressive trans activists you can follow on Instagram today:

6. Challenge disrespect and discrimination:

Defending those who are marginalised or otherwise at risk is key to being a true, effective ally. Push back against transphobic comments or actions when you encounter them*. Use empathy to guide people towards understanding, and away from ignorance. When possible, use your position as someone outside of the trans experience to speak to others like you and create a safe, respectful environment for transgender individuals. Helpful resources can be found in our ‘Recommendations’ section below.

*Only intervene if you feel safe to do so. If by intervening you are putting your own safety at risk please contact the appropriate authorities.

Becoming a trans ally holds immense power in creating a more inclusive and equitable society. By following these six steps, you can create positive impact. Remember that allyship is an ongoing commitment, and your support can make a significant difference in the lives of transgender individuals. Together, let's empower change and build a more inclusive world. Recommendations:

Educate yourself:

Choose your words thoughtfully:

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