This is Trans Awareness Week, and today on Twitter Professor Sandy O’Sullivan, a Wiradjuri transgender/non-binary person and an ARC Future Fellow at the Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University, shared some advice that is clearly useful year-round.
The post below is compiled from the Twitter thread and published with permission.
Sandy O’Sullivan writes:
On this #TransAwarenessWeek it’s important to recognise that many of us receive hate daily. What can you do to help?
1. Deplatform and call out hate. If individuals, politicians, organised groups, or the media calls our existence into question or mounts scare campaigns against us – challenge them.
2. In your workplace or school: call out hate, call out stereotypes, make the space safe for your colleagues. I know this sounds obvious, but we have to do it, not just believe that we’re the kind of people who *would* do it.
3. Educate yourself about the complexity of gender. Challenge yourself to learn more – perhaps start with revisiting the films you grew up with to rethink representation in tv and film by checking out @Disclosure_Doc on Netflix.
4. Don’t deadname or misgender people when talking positively about them. I’ve had a number of well-intentioned people over this week share stories of family members where they disclose their gender at birth and give me their old name, when there is no reason to do so.
5. Stand up for people, but check in with them before you do an intervention on their behalf. People have a right to manage their own complex relationships… I don’t want someone slamming an Aunty on my behalf, no matter what they say.
6. @razethecage mentioned hate mail. Many of us who are public about our lives get it. There’s a lot of hate out there, but there’s also an immeasurably larger amount of love and support. While we don’t measure the love, it helps to counter the hate.
7. There are some genuine villains challenging our right to exist. Recognise their manipulative language and their challenges to trans people’s basic human rights. Challenge them back… I guarantee it’s extremely easy; they aren’t rocket scientists.
8. Recognise that not everybody is out, or wants to be a ‘poster child’ for trans folks. People are just out there living their lives and mostly just want to get on and live in their gender without others bothering them.
9. Be a good ally. Listen.
10. Use inclusive language. Better yet, don’t use excluding language. In what you say at home, at work, in the community… include. Don’t tack us on as an afterthought.
That’s a list, but mostly we have to ensure people are okay when abuse happens. Check in, make sure they know that even if no reporting mechanism will help, you will. I am convinced that we can challenge transphobia. Let’s do it.