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16 Easy Ways To Support The Transgender People In Your Life

"My parents told me that they loved me no matter what."

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The good news is you're not alone. We asked the members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their best tips for supporting trans friends and family. Here's what they had to say:

1. Always respect the power of pronouns:

etsy.com

"I introduced myself as trans to my friends and now they all use 'they' or 'he' along with my real name, so that's something. If they misgender me by accident they'll buy me a drink as retribution. I'm glad to have such supportive friends."

—Hann Henson, Facebook

2. Got questions? Don't be afraid to ask (politely):

Paramount Pictures / Via popkey.co

"I was really nervous to come out to my two best friends because they're religious. They ask me questions to understand me more, and all-in-all they've been awesome about it."

—Rachel Bassett, Facebook

3. And don't be afraid to do a little research on your own:

Google

"My dad didn’t understand at first, but then he did some research on dysphoria. He called me up to tell me he loved me and that he would do anything he could to help me. The moment he learned about dysphoria, he completely stopped accidentally using the wrong pronouns and now he is always finding ways to help keep me going when I’m feeling like things are too hard."

XanderFierce

"When I came out, my best friend from childhood read the WPATH standards of care. I can’t get through it, so I was really touched they did!"

christopherjw2

4. Once you get a handle on everything, take the time to educate people around you:

katiecouric.com

"My mom, bless her, has spent the last four years since my coming out educating herself. She now helps admin a trans support group on Facebook alongside other trans folk. She reads as many articles as she can and she is constantly advocating for trans rights. I couldn't ask for a more accepting mother."

—Elliot Murphy, Facebook

5. Live too far away for a chat face-to-face? Pick up the phone and give them a ring just to say you're thinking about them:

youtube.com

"One time, many years ago, my best friend called me out of the blue and said, 'Hey, so, I was just watching a show about transgender people and it made me think of you. I just wanted to call and tell you that you're my best friend and I love you no matter what.'"

—Ryan Rosenberg, Facebook

6. Try to make big social events, like dinner parties or family gatherings, safe spaces for everyone to enjoy:

Elanjames

"I’m not out to most, but I was going to my friend’s wedding where all of the people that knew me knew I was trans. I asked if I could go as male, and this was her response."

elanjames

7. Boost their confidence with words of encouragement (your opinion probably means more than you know):

etsy.com

"The friends I came out to are always there to call me cute when I get dysphoric, or compliment my makeup and make me giggle. The fact that they’ll be there even after I’ve transitioned keeps me going a lot of the time and I couldn’t ask more of them."

Robynrbnsn

8. You may need time to process everything that's happening, but remember that what matters most is your loved one's safety and well-being:

David Bertozzi for BuzzFeed

"When I came out to my mum we just had a huge fight. Feeling desperate, I accidentally-on-purpose left a website for trans kids up on her tablet and she opened it. After she saw it she said, 'I’d rather have a happy kid than a dead daughter.' It took her a while to understand that I’m nonbinary, but she’s the most amazing and accepting mum and I wouldn’t trade her for anything else."

coleoscarc

10. Take them on a shopping spree! Even if you're not paying, they'll appreciate having someone to try on clothes with:

The CW

"I told my mom that I was FTM a few months ago. She said, 'So now that you are a boy, do we need to go shopping and get new stuff or get boys stuff for you?' My room is already stereotypically a 'boy's room'. I already wore 'boy' clothes. C’mon mom."

sammieselbrede

11. And even if you can't fully understand everything they're going through, do your best to be there for them all the same:

chanarose_m / Via instagram.com

"My 82-year-old grandma simply said, 'Well I don’t understand it but you're still my grandson.'"

ianp450f17238

12. Humor can help break the ice after someone comes out to you (but remember to be sensitive):

Harry Nicholas

"My dad has never been good at emotional stuff, but this text from him after I came out has definitely been a highlight of my transition 😂."

— Harry Nicholas, Facebook

13. Sometimes the best thing is to simply not change a thing — treat them just as you always have:

FOX

"I recently told one of my old roommates. She congratulated and hugged me — the rest of the day she was just her usual touchy, cuddly self."

jeromeabalone

"My old friends didn’t treat me any different than they did before, just with new name and pronouns. They really made me feel like one of the guys."

eraven

14. Having trouble finding the right words? Send them a care package or letter so they know you're thinking of them:

reddit.com

"My younger sister put together a care package of makeup and clothes, addressing it to my new name. I started tearing up before I even started to open it."

— Scarlet Muller, Facebook

15. Because even the smallest gesture can mean the world to someone:

etsy.com

"My best friend changed my nickname on Facebook messenger to 'my little brother' and I cried."

— Dharma Schofield, Facebook

16. And, most importantly, remember you can never say "I love you" too many times:

Comedy Central

"My parents told me that they loved me no matter what and they hope that it's what I really want and what makes me happy."

— Dharma Schofield , Facebook

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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