1. Ask permission to ask questions. Even if you think you know they are comfortable answering, they may actually not be or maybe not in that setting, and it is just rude and pretty off-putting to not ask. Say, “Hey do you mind if I ask you some things about your transition? I’ve been a little curious – feel free to not answer or say no.”
2. Avoid private and personal questions. Even a so-called open book like me doesn’t want to discuss my sex life with most anyone. If you really want to know about trans men and sex, ask in general terms – i.e. “Are many trans men ‘stone butch’ in bed?” vs. “Are you stone butch in bed?” BIG difference.
3. Do not ask questions that in any way challenge the trans person’s gender identity or expression or could obviously lead to dysphoria. Do NOT, for example, ask if a trans man will grow to be ‘average male height’ or if a trans woman is uncomfortable with the size of her hands. I’ve gotten, “Are you ever going to look your age?” Ouch, honey.
4. Phrase your questions in a way that affirms a trans person’s gender. And avoid anything that defines the trans person in terms of who they once “were.” This is pretty simple, actually. Instead of asking if someone is “still legally female,” ask what the steps are to becoming legally male and if they have completed them.
5. Avoid comparisons to non-trans people and never use the term “real” in distinguishing between transgender and non-transgender people. “Cisgender” or “non-trans” are the only appropriate ways to signify non-trans status.
6. If it is a general question, try Google first. There is a lot of information on the internet and an open trans person should not be a stand-in for your own research.
7. Do not ask what the person’s birth name was. There is absolutely no reason for you to need to know this and it is likely something this person wants distance from. It is a particularly offensive question when phrased, “What is your REAL name.” After all, Sebastian is my real name and has been since I started asking people to use it.
8. Request specific permission to ask questions relating to genitalia, even if you’ve already received general permission to ask other personal questions. “Are you comfortable discussing your genitalia?” Chances are they aren’t. After all, do you want to talk about yours? But some people are and I acknowledge that there is definitely education needed on the topic so I am not opposed entirely to asking questions, as long as you get extra permission first.
9. Be wary of your phrasing. If you aren’t sure how to talk about trans issues, you need to announce that in the beginning. Be open to correction and don’t get defensive if a trans person is offended by something you say. As a heads up, don’t refer to a trans person as their previously-assigned gender – don’t say “when you were a girl” to a trans man for example. A more accurate and safer route is “before you transitioned” or “when you were living as a girl.”
10. Be aware of your setting. These are private conversations. Don’t approach someone at a crowded party or in algebra class and expect them to have a trans chat with you.
11. Be sensitive to the person’s comfort level throughout the conversation. If they’ve given you permission but are obviously growing uncomfortable discussing things, don’t press. Be grateful for the information you’ve gained and change the subject.
12. Respect the person’s privacy. Unless this person stated otherwise, the personal information they gave you is not for you to share with the world.
Another one I would add is “Don’t ‘out’ someone as trans* or genderqueer unless they’ve told you it’s okay if a specific person / people know.”
This is a very, very helpful list! The trans*/trans* ally group (I don’t think it has a name yet…) on my campus is having its first meeting next week, and I want to make sure I’m respectful. I’ve had very few trans* people in my life, so I’m still adjusting to using proper language. The most important part of this group is to create a safe space for people to talk about their experiences, and I want to make sure that I remember that my voice isn’t the one that needs to be heard.
*Not just cis-women
Emily Nagoski. (via rapeisnotajoke)
#Oh my God #THIS #FUCKING THIS #I would like to print this out #and staple it to the forehead of every guy who’s tried to tell me that women ‘just need to be careful about where they go/how they dress/how they act/who they flirt with’ #because no #the only deciding factor on whether or not someone gets raped #is the presence of a rapist #and guess what #they are EVERYWHERE #including but not limited the local bar #your high school #your college dorm building #your workplace #your group of friend #your family #and if you’re telling me that laughing at a guy’s jokes is the equivalent of telling him I’ve given up my right to say no #then you are the problem #not me #YOU
If you think that a woman deserves to be raped for any reason, you need to seek help from a professional. Truly.
- Dr. George Tiller’s killing was not justifiable homicide, it was murder.
- Blowing up abortion clinics is terrorism.
- Defacing and covering abortion clinics in graffiti is vandalism.
- Chanting “You’re next!” at doctors and clinic administrators is threatening them.
- Preventing patients from entering a clinic by shouting at them, distracting them, walking in front of them, blocking their way with your bodies, or preventing them from exiting their cars is harassment.
You’re not a good person if you in any way, shape or form support, defend, or ignore any of these actions. Stop deluding yourself.
This morning was an especially difficult exercise in self-control and anger management. This post will be far shorter than the last one, because I really don’t want to talk about it more than strictly necessary because it is disgusting, but I feel like this nasty behaviour needs to be exposed.
Before we continue, while I didn’t include a trigger warning, anyone sensitive to miscarriages or anything along those lines may not want to continue reading.
Today I met one of the protesters, Mary. She’s a chaser, she’ll follow women out of their car, she’ll stand by the car door so it’s hard for them to get out. Well, the young woman in question today wasn’t brooking any of Mary’s nonsense, so when Mary pulled her standing-by-the-door shtick, she opened the door roughly against her. And as soon as Mary began talking, she hauled off and smacked her right across the face.
I heard about all of this through hearsay (and also about how the woman’s companion chased Mary around the parking lot) and while there was a tiny voice saying “Yay!” in my head, my heart also sunk—because I’m learning that any action you take against these people, even in the face of cruelty, will be used against you. I’m learning that as an Escort, it’s my job to hopefully try and calm these situations down—not encourage them. …But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t admire the family giving Mary a hard time.
Anyway, the young girl was with her mother and father, and the mother was screaming at all the protesters who nearly created a mob. Another Escort leaned close to me and said, “It’s a dead fetus.”
I was shocked to my core. The family, even the girl herself, had been yelling this to the protesters, that she wasn’t there for an abortion, but it was falling on deaf ears. Instead of listening to the heartache of the young girl and shutting up and letting her get the treatment she deserved, they treated her like a sinner—a murderer.
More concrete, real-life evidence that these antis don’t give a fuck about the people going into the clinics, about people PERIOD, they don’t listen, and they have absolutely no love or heart for anyone but themselves, despite how badly they want you to believe otherwise.
- Signed Slut Shamers, Who Apparently Have Nothing Better To Do Than Police Other People’s Consensual Sexual Activities (via deviantfemme)
- Also, homophobic bigots. But this second group would also like to add that since they wouldn’t do it, they want it to be illegal for anybody else! Lovely!
I’m not even lying when I tell you that a few nights ago I had a dream that I was in a wig shop full of pink wigs. Every motherfucking shade of pink was there and I was just prancing around, running my hands through all of them.
An anti-capitalist veteran (via elitc)
Well heres a take on it not often uttered or shared
washingtoncitypaper.com (via ellielamothe, rawwomen) (via luminosiity) (via duexchatnoir) (via whimsyandmayhem) (via clarissa-dalloway) (via mygayshoes) (via lonelyresearcher) (via wretchedoftheearth) (via sociolab)
It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too. No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged.” —
Depression is not a synonym for being sad or having a bad day/bad week.
My clinical depression is and was impossible to explain to someone because i struggle to change my thoughts in to words like these. But now, this post has made sense of it all and i will ALWAYS reblog this.
Reblogging every time I see it.