People are becoming more acceptable of people who are different, like a transgender woman or a gay man. There’s a feeling of being open and proud of who you are and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. This attitude might by why you feel more comfortable around these types of people but there are some things you should never ask because they can be offensive.
1) Are you a ‘he’ or a ‘she’?
Most transgender people like to be referred to as they gender that they identify with. If you ask what they are then you make them feel like there’s something wrong with them or that they don’t convincingly pass. It’s awkward and hurtful so accept them the way they are. If they’re presenting as female then use feminine adjectives because that’s how they want to be seen.
2) Are you gay?
Some people think that a transgender is gay because she started out as a man and is attracted to men because a lot of porn shows them having sex with men. It is possible for a transgender woman to be interested in women though and their orientation might be gay, straight or bi. If they’re interested in you then they’ll let you know.
3) Have you had surgery?
There is a difference between a transgender and a transsexual. A transgender person will live as another gender by dressing and acting like it whereas a transsexual will have surgery to become another gender. This is a personal decision and can be an offensive thing to ask someone. They’ll tell you when and if they feel you should know.
4) Are you always dressed like a woman?
Using the phrase “like a woman” makes it sound like a phase they’re going through and that you’re not taking them seriously. The way they choose to dress is none of your business and if they’re still getting used to their new identity they might not be comfortable talking about how they live their life. Stick to getting to know the person they are right now.
5) Do your parents know?
This can be triggering for a lot of transgender and transsexual people because they had a hard time telling them and their parents might not have been supportive. It also makes them remember a difficult time in their life and that can ruin a good conversation you were having with them. Avoid talking about relationships unless they bring it up first because you don’t know what their experiences have been like.
6) What bathroom do you use?
This is a sensitive subject, especially now that it’s becoming a hot debate topic in politics. They’re going to use whatever bathroom they feel comfortable with and it isn’t something that you need to know. You’re trying to get to know what their personality is like to see if you want to get to know them better and what bathroom they use doesn’t matter.
7) What’s your real name?
The name that they used when they introduced themselves to you is their real name, it’s what they choose to go by. Their birth name is personal and they’ll tell you that part of their past if they want to.
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