Tuesday, May 8, 2012

10 Simple Things Cis-Gender/Straight People Can Do to Fight Transphobia and Homophobia

10 simple things everyone - but especially cis-gender and straight folks who want to be allies to queer folks - can do to challenge transphobia and homophobia:

1) Use "partner" or "spouse" in place of "husband" or "wife."

2) Say "parents" instead of "moms and dads" when discussing parenthood in general.

3) Ask if you're not sure what name or gender pronouns someone prefers.

4) Encourage your favorite stores, restaurants, or coffeehouses to make their bathrooms gender neutral - especially if their current bathrooms are single occupancy.

5) If someone asks you to call them by a different name than you're accustomed to, do not tell the person things like, "I just can't call you something new" or "But you don't seem like a 'so-and-so' to me" or that you like their old name better.  Try saying, "I'm so glad you shared that with me.  I will try really hard to make the switch quickly!"

6) Don't make jokes at the expense of transpeople or gender non-conforming people and ask others to stop when they make such remarks.

7) When someone gives birth or adopts, ask the child's name before asking about the child's gender.

8) Avoid relying on gender stereotypes when interacting with young children.  Instead of focusing on how "cute" little girls look and how "tough" little boys are, ask all young children in your life about their favorite books or their favorite songs.  Ask if you can help them do a puzzle or draw a picture.  Take them on a nature hike or a bike ride or a tree-climbing adventure.  Teach them that it's okay to express sadness, anger, and joy and that there is room for a person to be both competitive and sensitive.  Help them learn  to be good nurturers of animals and other people.

9)  Post a rainbow sticker or some other marker on your door or cubicle or desk or wherever you can at work, to signal to your colleagues that you're a safe person to talk to.

10) Find out if your employer has a gender identity and expression non-discrimination policy.  If they do not, advocate that they adopt one.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! Sooo much number 7!!!!
    I am pregnant (due in two months), I am "ftm" (very loose description) and my wife is mtf. I get soooo fed up of people asking if it's a boy or a girl. I like to answer that question, "I won't know until the child tells me." :)


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