Lesson 403 – Transgender Ally

LGB and T?: Why They Go Together

If transgender (T)  is about gender identity and lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) are about sexual orientation (two very distinct things) why do they go together (LGBT)?

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people belong together for various reasons, among them:

  1. Legal —  LGBT people share many of the same legal barriers. LGBT people are targets of bullying, social ostracization, hate crimes and unequal basic human rights.
  2. Cultural — many languages use the same word for transgender as gay.
  3. Historical — LGB and T people have been present  in the movement  for equality since the beginning, this was especially noted at Stonewall.
  4. Developmental — Many people in the LGBT community are perceived to be gender non-conforming.
  5. Coming out — People in the LGB and T community go through a coming out process.  Sometimes a person may come out as LGB and later as transgender. Others may come out as transgender and then later as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

How to be and Ally
What does it mean to be an ally?  What does being an ally look like?

  1.  The most important thing an ally can do is to validate a person’s gender expression and identity by using the pronouns the person has requested.
  2. It is also important to show acceptance and respect by keeping proper social boundaries when asking questions.  If you would not ask an acquaintance about their body parts, then you should not ask a transgender person the same.
  3. Lastly, an ally does not make assumptions based on stereotypes, they treat each person as an individual.

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The following Transgender Stories provide some insight on transgender children for the perspective of a parent.

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