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6 Things Not To Say To Your Trans Friend

Here is the 6 things your trans community at LUU would love you not to say to make their lives a little bit easier...

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‘So (when) are you having the surgery?’

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"There’s so many different surgeries that some trans people choose to undergo, many which take months of recovery, and not all trans people opt for all surgical options - or even to transition at all. Chances are, they’re doing the right things at the right pace for them. If surgeries are something a trans friend wants to chat about they’ll bring it up!"

Don’t ask about their genitals

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"Would you ask anybody else about their genitals whilst out for lunch? Probably not - and equally, why do you want to know? Steering clear of body questions is a great idea - lots of trans people spend enough time worrying about their own perceptions of their bodies, without having to worry about yours."

‘It’s just so difficult for me to get your pronouns right!’

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"It’s difficult for you?!

I recently overheard a group of students talking about how trans people are just so selfish for changing their name and pronouns and just expecting people to adapt! Well, tough! If your friend asks you to change how you refer to them, it’s a big deal and you should take it seriously. It takes a lot of courage to come out and the best thing you can do is support them and take it on board. If you slip up recognise that you may have upset your friend, apologise and move on. It’s common to make mistakes, so correct yourself and try not to do it again."

‘But why? You were so pretty/handsome/ripped before?’

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"Yeah, and I hated every bit of it. This isn’t something I just decided would be fun - I’d rather be comfortable with expressing my identity than ‘pretty’. Also, are you saying I’m ugly now? Rude...(But yes, I was hot)."

So when are you going to actually transition?

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"A. Never, I don’t want to or medically can’t

B. When I finish the 1-4 year waiting list, get 3 appointments in a year, and am finally allowed to medical transition

C. When I save up enough money to get private health care in order to bypass said waiting lists

D. I already am and my definition of my own transition doesn’t have to fit your flawed conception of what it should look like

Is there even an answer that will contribute anything good to our conversation? No, I’m not ‘rushing things’ (4 YEARS!)"

‘Oh, I couldn’t tell!’

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"You’re probably trying to be nice by saying I pass as my gender, but you can’t tell who is or isn’t trans. Equally ‘yeah, I can tell’ isn’t cool. There shouldn’t be an expectation that trans people have to reach a point where they pass as their gender - what other people think I am doesn’t change who I am.

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