Being trans in our generation is supposedly accepted by the majority of people, but despite this the trans community is still heavily criticised for their beliefs and practises simply because of a lack of understanding. It’s commonly believed that trans people are people who were born into the wrong body.
However, this isn’t the actual definition as the term ‘trans’ is an umbrella term for people who experience dysphoria when it comes to their physical body. This is caused by being unhappy and unable to feel comfortable in your own body because of your biological status. Despite the belief of a trans person becoming male or female, it’s far more common for a person to simply alter their appearance to appear more gender neutral.
As of 2021 there are 6 officially recognised genders: male, female, gender-neutral, non-binary, gender-fluid and gender-queer. All of which are completely valid and if you identify with one or more of these terms then you are considered transgender, however just because you can call yourself one of these terms doesn’t mean you have to, what you allow people to consider you is your personal choice.
Here are a few helpful tips when having a friend who considers themselves transgender:
Don’t assume their chosen gender. As we previously discussed, there are 6 recognised gender identities and not everyone necessarily wants to be labelled, don’t be afraid to ask either. Communication is key.
Don’t doubt them. A person who is trans probably goes through enough people who make them feel less valid by choosing not to fully believe them.
Lastly and yet what I consider to be the most important: treat them like you would anyone else. The last thing a person wants is to be treated differently from everyone else for something they have no control over.
Gender is a highly sensitive topic but with clear communication you can quite easily decipher the situation and still be respectful towards the community and the people in it.