How to be an Ally

You can be an ally by…

  • Using the name and pronouns your friend asks you to use.
  • Asking questions about how you can support your friend.
  • Standing up for your friend if they are being bullied or if you hear transphobic comments (when it is safe to do so).
  • Helping to educate others.

Transitioning is always a unique experience. It can be extremely stressful and lead to a great deal of depression and social anxiety. All any of us can ever do is our best to listen and understand. It is OK to ask questions as long as they are respectful and not intended to embarrass or exclude. It is not OK to ask someone if they have “had the surgery”. Other unhelpful questions and comments include:

  • When did you decide to be a man/woman (boy/girl)?
  • “You look so real. I never would have known.”
  • What is your real name?
  • You’re so attractive, why would you want to…?

If you encounter someone and you can’t immediately tell what their gender is ask yourself why it matters that you know. That person knows who they are.

If you are looking for help with becoming an ally, here are some resources:

Guide to Being a Trans* Ally

  • PFLAG created this helpful document

KW Counselling Services

  • KWCS offers therapeutic counselling for individuals, couples and families on a sliding price scale.

PFLAG Canada

  • Waterloo Wellington Perth Region
  • generally meet on the 3rd Tuesday of the month beginning 7pm at SPECTRUM

TRANS-Parent

  • A support network for the parents of trans children