Transgenderism and transsexualism are too frequently misunderstood, and hate crimes against trans people often result in death. It is important to understand basic facts about the trans community in order to stand in solidarity with those who face safety issues that others do not.
Where did trans come from?
While the word “trans” was only added to the dictionary in 2018 according to Time, the idea of genders outside of man and woman have been around for centuries. For example, in Native Hawaiian culture, multiple genders were acknowledged and accepted, according to Huffpost.
How is transgender different from transsexual?
Transgender refers to people who were assigned one sex at birth but have a gender identity that does not conform with the sex they were assigned. Transsexual refers to people who have or will undergo surgery to change their biological sex to fit their gender identity. These definitions and others can be found on GLAAD, an organization dedicated to LGBTQ acceptance.
What is Transgender Day of Remembrance?
It is an annual day of solidarity meant to remember trans people who have been murdered during a hate crime. This year, there have been 22 official cases of trans and gender non-conforming murders, according to NBC. Most often, the victims are young, black trans women.
What’s the big deal with pronouns?
Pronouns (she/her/hers, they/them/theirs, he/him/his, zie/zim/zir, etc.) are used in place of someone's name and serve to affirm that person’s gender identity. It can be extremely harmful for someone when they are misgendered. If you are not sure about someone’s pronouns, ask. As a general rule of thumb, pronouns can never be assumed based off of physical presentation.
So, is a trans woman a man or a woman?
A woman. Trans women were assigned male at birth (AMAB), and trans men were assigned female at birth (AFAB). However, gender does not have to be related to sex. A trans woman is a woman, and a trans man is a man.
How many people are trans?
Data from 2019 shows that nearly 2% of high school students identify as transgender, according to the Washington Post.
Are trans people gay, too?
Some are, and some are not. Gender identity and sexuality are independent of each other.
What if this makes me uncomfortable?
Keep educating yourself. Gender is a social construct — gender roles and gender presentations are not natural or innate to our bodies. Trans people and cis people (people who have a gender that conforms to their assigned sex) have equally valid genders, because gender is simply a presentation and not something that should dictate personalities.