Trans Lifeline Library:
Allies and Supporters
Allies and Supporters
Allies & Supporters
Be An Ally
We need allies everywhere we can get them–if you’re a parent, a business owner, restaurant staff, retail staff, a member/leader of a religious or spiritual community, a good neighbor, or you just want to make sure that you’re well-informed and supportive of other humans–this is a good first step, and trans folks everywhere appreciate the support.
An important part of allyship is learning. This includes the basics and continuing to learn over time. The internet can be a great place to start this learning, but be aware that search results and social media algorithms are influenced by prior internet usage, where you access the internet, and other factors. Always examine your sources, especially when the information doesn’t align with what actual trans people say they are experiencing.
While it is valuable to learn about trans issues from trans people, not all trans people want to be educators. Don’t rely on asking all your questions to one or two trans people you know, especially when those questions are particularly personal or invasive. Additionally, the experiences and opinions of one trans person cannot represent the entire community. It can be much more beneficial to ask for resources that helped educate them, including guides and recommended reading.
There are a multitude of ways people can generally show allyship, and one of the easiest ways is to advocate for trans rights wherever you can. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss about having a gender neutral bathroom or what the policy is when it comes to trans people using the bathrooms, tell that one family member that what they’re saying is harmful, and contact your representatives to demand equal rights and equal protections for trans folks. While some of these may feel more confrontational, they’re actions that add up–especially when there aren’t trans people in the room, having a change-maker standing up for us makes a world of difference.
Other smaller ways to show allyship include sharing your own pronouns, updating your email signature or social media bios to include pronouns, and practicing using gender-neutral pronouns for people if you aren’t sure what they use yet.
Allyship means understanding when you should pass the mic to trans folks. If trans people are already making a push for something or speaking about something that’s related to their experiences, your job as an ally is to amplify their voices, not to speak over them.
Other great ways to show allyship: donate to organizations that serve trans individuals/their families or organizations that are fighting to change policies, sharing stories on social media that are not just related to tragic news (trans athletes getting wins, interviews with trans celebrities), donate to trans people’s Gofundme’s for affirming medical care, and check in with the trans people in your life when there is news about things that harm us.
Trevor Project–Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth
Minus18–How To Be A Trans Ally
Everyday Feminism–8 Things Trans People Do Not Owe You
Vox–9 Questions About Trans Issues You Were Too Embarrassed To Ask
OSHA–Best Practices, A Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers
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