Did You Know? - Trans Talk

Here are some tips to treat someone who you know is a transsexual person as you would any other friend. not every transsexual person is the same. Like you and I aren't alike, neither are they.


The term gender, when used below, always means the gender the person identifies as.

  • Treat me as you would any other friend – with respect, dignity, affection and care.
  • Being transsexual is not a choice or a decision. It is a simple reality. 
  • Accept me as a full-fledged member of the gender I identify with.
  • A transsexual woman is someone whose gender assignment was male and who wants to live / lives as a woman. A transsexual man is someone whose gender assignment was female and who wants to live / lives as a man.
  • Use the language that corresponds to my gender identity, e.g. ‘he’, ‘she’, even if my body does not seem to match yet and even when talking about my past. This will help me move forward.
  • The changes I make to my body are not just cosmetic, but are reconstructive. Having a body I feel I can identify with and feel good in is vital to my health and my social and physical interactions with other people.
  • Don’t immediately assume that genital sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) is my priority. Every transsexual person is unique and chooses different steps, based on many factors. Not everyone wants SRS.
  • Don’t talk about my genitals any more than you would for a non-trans person, unless I bring up the topic myself.
  • Don’t introduce me as your ‘transsexual’ friend. Don’t ask me to explain my life story or my gender situation to people I have just met.
  • Never mention my old name or even ask what it was. Instead of saying, ‘Back when you were Ram’, say ‘Before you came out as female’.
  • Gender identity has nothing to do with my sexual identity. Whether I am attracted to men, women, both, or neither is a totally separate thing from whether I am male or female. For example, if I am a trans woman who likes women, treat me no differently from other lesbians.
  • When you use the word transsexual (or trans), it’s better to use it as an adjective to describe a person, not as a noun by itself, e.g. transsexual people, not transsexuals.