Supporting Gender-Expansive Individuals
Gender-expansive people are individuals whose gender identities, gender expressions, and/or behavior is different from societal expectations related to gender. As society becomes more aware and accepting of gender diversity it is important that we support those individuals. Here are some ways to be an ally:
Listen & Learn
Listen to gender-expansive peers, friends and family members and learn from their experiences. Take the time to understand their identities, perspective, and journey.
Respect genderexpansive people’s language, pronouns (like “they/them”), and identities. Do not assume or put genderexpansive people into a gender category. Speak up or intervene if their gender identity is disrespected by other individuals or institutions.
Educate yourself and others on gender identity, gender expression, and other terms related to gender diversity. Fight against any kind of gender inequality, exclusion, or backlash. Push for appropriate policy support for gender-expansive individuals.
Be an ally and support gender-expansive individuals in your life. Create a safe, inclusive and affirming environment. Offer basic support, understanding, and validation.
- Normalize conversations around gender identity and expression.
- Respect people’s need for privacy. Support them in deciding when and how to share the information about their gender identity and expression.
- Offer affirmation. Recognize their unique qualities and achievements, and help them build a positive self-image.
Everyone has a unique gender journey, and it is important for us to create a society where everyone can be their true and authentic selves. By listening, learning, being respectful and taking action, we can all become allies and help create a more inclusive world for gender-expansive individuals.