Ten Things You CAN Say to a Trans Person (Reblogged from TRANIFESTO)

by dominicdemeyn

May I make a short introduction to what is to follow here:

I have reblogged the following post from Matt Kailey’s blog TRANIFESTO, which I hope all of you are following, or have at least visited often. I hope that this blog post did not come across as mine, because that is not the case. I realise now that I should have made this more obvious and honoured the person to whom this blo post belongs. I apologise to Matt for the inappropriate re-blogging and hope that I won’t make that mistake again.

I would like to also now add his website (link): http://tranifesto.com/

I get a lot of information from Matt’s blog and visit it regularly and am a bit embarrassed that I have not quoted his post properly. I don’t want any credit for posting this, the reason why I am posting this is because I like his post and want to share it.

Let’s see if I can do better now!

This is the post by Matt Kailey which can be found on his blog (see link, please).

“One of the most popular items on my blog is “Ten Things Not to Say to a Trans Person.” But I’m sure that non-trans people get tired of hearing what they can’t say. So, in the spirit of helpfulness, I present “Ten Things You CAN Say to a Trans Person”:

1. Good morning!

2. How was your weekend?

3. That outfit/shirt/tie looks great on you.

4. I am so tired of this heat/cold. I hope it rains/warms up pretty soon.

5. Have you seen the latest photo of my kid/dog/new house? Check it out!

6. Where are you from originally? Have you lived in this city long?

7. The traffic on the freeway is a nightmare today! Do you have to drive far to get here?

8. We’re all going across the street for lunch. Want to come?

9. I can’t believe summer/winter is almost over. Where does the time go?

10. Did you see that YouTube video about the snake that ate three baby goats?

Of course, you can adjust these to fit your purposes. And if you are close to this person, your conversations will obviously stray into less superficial aspects of life, such as art, politics, current events, their love life, your love life, Kim Kardashian’s love life, and so on. But use these as a guideline and you will never get yourself in hot water.”

[http://tranifesto.com/2012/07/16/ten-things-you-can-say-to-a-trans-person/]

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This is what I thought when I read the post:

I’m sure there are many more things one can ask/say to a trans person without intruding on personal space or making that person feel uncomfortable.

And not only Trans people enjoy some private space. We all have personal boundaries. Usually it’s only when our needs are not met or boundaries happen to be crossed (trespassed on) that we realise how important they are. These boundaries often cannot be seen and that is why often they are not respected. For some (other) reason, too, trans peoples’ boundaries seem to be less important than other peoples’, as if every trans person was a celebrity and needed to explain themselves.

Even in the zoo, the animals are kept at a distance from visitors. A trans person does not have a physical structure in place to protect him/her/it/… from prying minds.

We should keep in mind that when talking to a person, we are talking to an individual with …/it’s/her his personal history, likes/dislikes, personality, family structure, friends, hobbies. A trans person has as much substance and real-ness as any other person. One might not understand or support their idetifying as trans or their transition plans (if transition is indeed planned), but one can at least respect shared humanity/human-ness.

We all strive to be safe in our environment, to be individuals and yet to live as part of a social construct (a group of individuals). Some are more individual and freedom-loving than others and might clash with their surroundings due to their foreign-ness.

Should we ostracise some people, who could be valuable to society and contribute positivity to our environment (physical, spiritual, economic, social) because of their personal preferences regarding gender/sexuality/hobbies/ethnicity/ability/…?

What will be the next standard to highlight ‘Otherness’ and create an ‘Us’ and a ‘Them’? Who will be the next victimized group of social conditioning?

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