Wednesday 31st March 2021
Heya, my name is Sonja (pronouns: She/Her) and you’ve probably seen me walking around campus and I’m going to take this Trans Day of Visibility to give you a rundown of how to respectfully talk to your transgender/gender-diverse friends and classmates.
First things first, when introducing yourself to someone, try to include your pronouns (e.g. He/Him; She/Her; They/Them [this list is not exhaustive]). This is a good baseline to make sure you are all respecting each other and your identities. Also, it’s important to remember that whilst someone may not look ‘typically feminine/masculine’, this may not determine how they want to identify.
Second, do not, under any circumstances use a person's deadname without permission from that person. A deadname is the name someone was given at birth and which they no longer use. Often, a trans person's deadname is a source of great discomfort and dysphoria. It also isn’t a good idea to ask for it either, if the trans person wants to tell you, they’ll do it on their own merit.
Finally, if you don’t know something, ASK! If you assume then you could make a wrong assumption and make someone incredibly uncomfortable. However, this isn’t a free pass to ask anything and everything. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t go up to one of your friends and ask deeply invasive questions about their anatomy. So please ask questions but be respectful about the ones you ask.
Aspire Speaker Series 10:30am on 21st/28th April 2021 and 5th/12th/19th/26th May 2021 and 2nd/9th/16th/23rd/30th June 2021