Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Individuals
The transgender and non-binary communities describe individuals whose gender identities do not align with the gender binary of male and female. Showing support for these individuals is not just an act of kindness, but an affirmation that everyone deserves to be respected and accepted for who they are. Here are some ways to support transgender and non-binary individuals in your life and in your community:
Acknowledge and Respect Former Names and Pronouns
When older members of the transgender and non-binary communities transition, they may decide to adopt a new name as part of their journey. Acknowledging and respecting the names they have chosen is an important part of demonstrating support. Similarly, if a person has requested that you use particular pronouns when referring to them (e.g. they/them/theirs, she/her/hers, he/him/his, etc.), it is important to respect their wishes.
Advocate for Accessible Resources and Inclusion
Transgender and non-binary individuals should have the same access to medical care, housing, education, employment, and other resources as everyone else in the community. Speak out against policies and practices that discriminate against this group, and advocate for more funding for appropriate health care services. Furthermore, advocate for transgender and non-binary inclusion in all group and social settings, refusing to accept any type of exclusion from any group environment.
Making an effort to learn more about transgender and non-binary individuals will not only help to create an accepting environment, but can actually help to foster mutual understanding between different groups within the community. Find out more about transgender and non-binary topics by doing research, reading books and articles, watching documentaries and other types of media, and attending events and talks hosted by transgender and non-binary individuals.
Listen, Believe, and Don’t Assume
The most important thing when it comes to showing support for transgender and non-binary individuals is to simply listen toindividuals and their experiences, to believe them, and to not make assumptions about who they are and what their journey is like.This can prevent people from feeling isolated and misunderstood, and can help to create safer and more inclusive environments for everyone.
Ultimately, everyone should be treated with respect and dignity, and everyone deserves to be accepted for who they are. By demonstrating these kinds of supportive behaviours, we can all make a difference in creating a more inclusive and accepting world for transgender and non-binary individuals.