What You Can Do for Transgender Equality

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Often, transgender women and men face bigotry, hatred, and even discrimination from their family, co-workers, and friends. In most cases, such reactions and treatments are as a result of unfounded fear and simple misunderstanding about trans individuals and the community at large. When you become an ally, you show your support for the transgender community and play your part in helping to end the ignorance and basic misunderstanding of transgender issues.
Learning how to advocate for transgender equality will take some time and a significant amount of effort. Sometimes, even if you put yourself all out there, you may have the feeling that you aren’t doing as much as you can. And, that’s ok. The transgender community is diverse and may not mean the same thing to different people. With that being said, the most important thing is to keep learning, stay committed, and keep pushing. Here’s what you can do for transgender equality.

Practise Inclusive Conversations
Try to familiarise yourself with pronouns that the transgender community identify with. This shows that you respect them and their identity. Pronouns aren’t limited to ‘she’ and ‘he’. Many nonbinary people would prefer it if you used the word ‘they’ when referring to them. Others aren’t particular about the pronouns you use and may ask you to use their names instead. Always ask what makes an individual comfortable. 

Familiarize Yourself with the Transgender Experience
Make sure you do some research so you don’t make a trans person feel uncomfortable with intrusive or inappropriate questions. You can turn to content created by trans educators and individuals if you need more information. This way, you will hear directly from the trans community about their perspective. Language changes every day so you might as well learn current terminologies and language used within and about the trans community. 

Take the Topic to Your Workplace
By the day, transgender people are coming out and looking to live openly. To ensure they enjoy equality, one of the things we can do is to allow them to come into spaces that are welcoming. For example, we can seek training that’s inclusive to transgender individuals in places such as hospitals, businesses, and schools. Such training should enable staff and educators to learn how to treat trans people with respect, professionalism, and courtesy.
In the workplace, policies can be evaluated to see whether they support various gender expressions and identities. Documents and forms that require info about gender should be updated. Dress codes that reinforce gender stereotypes should be re-thought. Sometimes, non-binary people experience stress as they dress for work every day.

Support Organisations that Look Out for the Transgender Community
We take some of the services we use for granted. But, because of systemic oppression and discrimination of the transgender community, our loved ones that are trans may not have access to such services or they may even be unsafe for them. Think shelters, social services, mental health facilities, or even public transport. Organizations that have done the work to become aware of the needs of the trans community should be supported. 

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