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Author Topic: Dear trans people, what are some things you would like the cis to know?  (Read 1276 times)
Icey!
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« on: September 20, 2023 @196.13 »

I am a cis male (meaning that I identify as my birth gender), and out of curiosity I would like to hear the voices of our trans people in the melonland forum. (This includes trans men, saddened to see that I almost never hear about them.)

This includes things about how to support, what you shouldn't do, etc. :transport:  I'm not expecting this topic to really go anywhere but it's worth a shot.

Edit: Trying out being non-binary, let's see if it sticks!

Edit2: Genderfluid
« Last Edit: April 12, 2024 @103.90 by Icey! » Logged



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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2023 @272.59 »

hi, transmasculine here! honestly i think the best thing any cis person can do is just be respectful. you dont have to scream and shout about how much you support us, you just need to respect our identities or at the very least mind your own business, you know? just treat trans people like anyone else and that will honestly mean way more to us than you may think :D
« Last Edit: September 21, 2023 @332.78 by sonicthehedgehog2006 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2023 @391.10 »

I think I have two main things in mind as a nonbinary person.

1) If you have a question about anything trans related, google it first and if you can't find it in the first few google pages, then go ask a trans person irl about it. The fact is that there's a ton of information out and publicly available online that could probably answer a lot of basic questions about being trans, such as information about pronouns, HRT, what gender affirming care is, what certain terms mean, etc. Even if you're asking something with good intentions, a lot of the time even the good natured questions come off as invasive when cis people ask you the same things over and over again because they aren't looking into their questions themselves. I'm all for having helpful discussions and telling people about the lived realities of not being cis, but cis people really can have a way of making trans people feel like bugs under a microscope or celebrities getting random paparazzi interview chasedowns.

2) Sometimes a lot of trans related stuff is not going to make sense to you, and that's okay. No one expects cis people to fully get it because being trans is a different lived experience. On the flip side of it, just because you as a cis person don't understand or get something that's in trans culture or important to trans people, that doesn't mean it's exclusionary or that it's being gatekept, or that the thing is inherently bad because it's not relatable to cis people. If you don't fully get something because it's not something you in your lived experience can relate to, the best response is to go elsewhere and find your own thing to do instead, and it's rude as hell to say "I'm an ally so you have to include me or else you're discriminating" when what you're actually asking for is for trans people to cater things to cis tastes and expectations.
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2023 @577.66 »

Thanks for making this topic. I wanna make a trans character, but i dont know how to properly represent them without screwing something up, since im not really trans, but i wanna make a character thats more, you know, unique and fun.
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2023 @697.52 »

I'm a nonbinary transmasculine person (some members in the system are nonbinary trans men but we're all some flavor of nonbinary generally speaking lol) and there are a couple things I can think of off of the top of my head that I want cis people to know:

  • Trans men and AFAB trans people do not transition to "escape misogyny". That may sometimes play a factor in it, but many aspects of misogyny affect us no matter what we identify as, and now we've got transphobia to deal with as well. In fact, the whole idea of AFAB trans people as "confused women who can't be trusted to make the best decisions for themselves" IS misogyny in and of itself, influenced by transphobia at the same time.
  • You don't need to fully understand us or get everything right all the time to support us. One of my biggest allies in high school when I came out as trans was my cis cousin who barely understood anything about being trans and constantly said kind of weirdly phrased stuff but would also throw hands with literally anyone who misgendered me on purpose. I remember another time, a new teacher didn't know that my name had changed and was calling out my deadname at the start of class for the attendance check, and a cis guy who had been actually pretty rude to me when I came out pulled him aside after class without my knowledge and gave him a full-on LECTURE (it got cleared up in the end and it was an honest mistake, but I still think it's cool how willing this friend was to defend me). There's always opportunities to do better if you mess up at first, and if you've got the right intentions and it's very clear that you're trying and willing to learn from mistakes and feedback, that means way more than being 100% perfect all the time.
  • There are weird/shitty people in every group, and that doesn't mean they represent that group as a whole or that they're not actually a "real" member of that group.
  • Trans people identifying with genders you don't understand does not mean "the trans movement has gone too far", it's a non-issue. You might not understand it, that doesn't mean it's necessarily harmful. Whenever transphobes tell my mom stuff like "oh, but aren't you worried about these kids who identify as CATS???" her response is always something along the lines of "Why would I be if they're not hurting anyone? Who cares? Just because it's weird doesn't mean it's wrong." which I think is a pretty good response to that sort of stuff.
  • Trans men in particular get infantilized a lot, while trans women seem to have an opposite issue of almost being seen as like... scary, threatening, etc. Even people within the trans community can have these biases, unfortunately. So it's probably worth it to sometimes examine what preconceived notions you might have of trans people or certain types of trans people and where those notions come from, how they might be influenced by gender roles, transphobia, and/or misogyny, etc.
  • There's a lot of fearmongering about medical transition, especially for trans men and transmasculine people, usually this comes from transphobes. There are some risks associated with certain procedures and stuff like that, but people are capable of making informed decisions about their own bodies and about what risks they're willing to take. Just because you wouldn't be okay with a certain risk, doesn't mean a trans person making the decision to take that risk on is wrong.
  • Nonbinary is an umbrella term that simply means people who are not strictly binary men or binary women (binary would basically mean you 100% identify as only that gender if that makes sense). That means there are a LOT of ways to be nonbinary, including still identifying with manhood or womanhood in some way. So if you see someone identifying as a nonbinary man or woman, though it might seem contradictory, it's actually not.
  • Trans people don't always use the pronouns typically associated with their gender, and that's fine. In fact, cis people also don't have to use the pronouns typically associated with their gender.
  • This one is a personal one (and also is a thing I wish other trans people knew lol), but if you're told that someone uses it/its pronouns, please respect those pronouns the same way you would any other pronouns! It's fine to not want these pronouns applied to you, but not everyone will feel the same way about them.
  • People can identify as nonbinary and still be lesbian or gay, those identities aren't exclusive of nonbinary genders (especially since nonbinary genders are not a monolith).
  • It's probably a good idea to research anti-trans dogwhistles and stuff like that, and the reasoning behind why certain myths about trans people are wrong/harmful. I think this is one of the most helpful things a cis ally can do actually - both because it helps you avoid accidentally spreading harmful rhetoric or even getting sucked into it, and because if you want to educate another cis person, you'll actually have the knowledge to explain stuff well.
  • This one will seem counterintuitive, but don't argue with transphobes publicly on social media. This is because of the way social media works, arguing with a transphobic person usually means you're actually giving them more visibility, which can be tiring for trans people who use the internet as an escape from that sort of stuff and also if you're not really good at debating stuff like this sometimes the transphobe will use this as more ammo against trans people. Like they will ignore that it's a cis person saying it and turn around and go "wow trans people truly make no sense". It's more impactful to post about how you support trans people and stuff like that, or bring attention to trans issues which need more visibility.

Okay that list turned out longer than I thought it would, oops. I might also ask my girlfriend later if she has anything to add from the trans woman side of things.
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2023 @781.28 »

honestly? that we're just trying to live our lives.

there's /so/ much scaremongering and misinformed discourse about "the trans ideology", "wokeness" and "the culture war" (all three being awful right-wing terms) because we're seen as a threat for wanting to live better lives?

i don't speak for all trans folks, but my relationship with gender is one where i'm trying to be more comfortable with how i'm perceived.
i'll get annoyed and dysphoric when i get the "look" up and down from folks when i go out, sure, but there's more judgement in my own head than anyone else could ever dish out, even though there shouldn't be either.
when i look at myself in the mirror, for instance, i'll think about all the societal archetypes of my gender, realize that i share only a portion of those views and then berate myself with the internalized transphobic rhetoric imprinted onto me by my parents and people around me.
it genuinely takes me time to get over this. it's easy for me to scold myself: "you shouldn't be thinking these things about yourself; you look amazing the way you are - even if you don't conform to what other people tell you you should look like", but actually critically reasoning with myself and /convincing/ myself to adopt an optimistic attitude of self-improvement takes time and effort, and it doesn't happen overnight.

gender is a very personal thing, and i haven't met anybody who actually /gets/ my gender. i doubt i will meet anybody who does, either. and that's fine. you don't need to understand my relationship with gender in order to respect who i am, and ask how i like to be perceived (though i know some folks that get super annoyed if they make an effort to look a certain way and get they/them'd, so like everything: it depends on the person you're talking to). either way: it's not my job to explain my gender to every person i ever meet. i'm j, i go by she/her and sometimes she/they, and everything past that point is up to me whether i share it.

one major thing you can do if you're cis and want to help out trans folks /is to know some history/.
there has been /so/ much erasure of transgender people throughout history.
the concept of being trans has existed since at least Ancient Mesopotamia (google Inanna), and exists globally (google hijra), but that doesn't mean that it's seen positively.
whilst hijra was recognized as a gender in law in 2014, that doesn't mean that the term's necesarily undergone amelioration, and it doesn't mean that people who identify outside of the gender binary are spread out across social classes, either.
even in the Western world there's been a bunch of erasure.
the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, for instance, operated in the early 1900s and held a huge collection of texts and pioneering information on gender-affirming treatment (as well as advocating for progression with queer stuff) until the Nazis came and raided the institute and burnt a bunch of books. they're also presumed to have killed the first AMAB individual to undergo gender-affirming surgery.

some points i won't work into the above for brevity:

- non-binary people are not AFAB lite (thanks Starfield, for voicing they/them characters femininely! /sarcasm)
- trans people get stuff wrong about trans stuff, too.
  i deadname myself in my head sometimes.
  i accidentally use the wrong pronouns for someone i know, then i correct myself.
  /the point is that you make an effort - folks can tell!/
- when trans people go to the toilet, regardless of whether they're physically transitioning,
  /they just want to use the facilities/.
  **predators don't feel the need to identify as a different gender to invade spaces.**
- please, please, please, please, please remember to think of intersex and two-spirited folks when approaching
  gender discourse. a /lot/ of the time these groups are completely overlooked.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2023 @784.98 by j » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2023 @819.87 »

I think the above statements pretty much nail it on the head. I agree with some, disagree with others. But that's essentially the Trans Experience. We navigate through gender expression and life differently. I personally don't get fussed by cis people asking me five million questions, while some do. I'd rather have a curious good-mannered person ask me things, vs someone stumbling in the dark about what to say and what not.

But a lot of people don't like that! So it depends on the trans person.

I think the biggest thing you can do as a cis ally is vote for our rights. There's a lot of countries in the world that do not allow people the privilege to be themselves.
Hell, even in my country, there's a lot of wild stuff in order to transition. (like forcing people to medically transition, forcing folks to become infertile, years of gender therapy, etc, etc.)
So even if other cis folks may not understand exactly what we go through, I think the best thing that they can do is have our backs when the law is out for us.
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2023 @836.41 »

one thing i would say is. i think people have a very binary view not only of gender but of cisness vs transness and what cis people and trans people are allowed to do. cis people can experiment with their pronouns, names, presentation, and even alter their appearance with surgery and hormones and still very much be the gender they feel they are, conversely, trans people can choose to keep the pronoun and name they were given and not change their outward presentation or taKe surgery or hormones, and they are still very much the gender they feel they are as well.

it goes even deeper than just cis vs trans too. people can be denied their own gender based on race, intersex status, or just for any reason not conforming to traditional strict eurocentric binarist ideas of sex and gender which just aren't based in reality,

neither your pronouns, your name, your body, or your presentation dictate what your gender is or who you are. trans people will never be fully accepted until we accept that basic fact. denying someones gender is violence, plain and simple.
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2023 @847.42 »

Much love to you, and all of our cis allies! :transport: I have two things that I want all cis people to know.

1. It's okay if you misgender trans people on accident. It's a mistake like any other. You don't need to beat yourself up about it. All you need to do is say, "He... Sorry, I mean, they..." And you can move on with the conversation. I promise, as long as you're making the effort, we see it, we understand if you slip up, and we're grateful.

2. "Nonbinary" is an umbrella term. It's not a trinary; male, female, and nonbinary. "Nonbinary" doesn't mean "no gender"; again, it is an umbrella term, and it means, "Anything outside of solely binary female, and solely binary male." Under that umbrella, there are nonbinaries who feel like they have no gender, but there are also nonbinaries who are aligned partially with one (or even both!) genders. And all sorts of other genders, too.

Instead of thinking of gender as a sliding scale, with 'male' and 'female' on either side, and 'genderless' in the middle, think of gender as a color wheel! The accepted binary being pink and blue doesn't mean that every other color is a shade of purple.
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2023 @853.95 »

@DiffydaDude If you want to discuss the character specifically, I'm down to chat whenever! Promise I won't get offended or anything like that, lol. Writing is one of my passions, so if you need someone to talk to regarding that, just hit me up!
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2023 @891.90 »

This topic went better than expected... But, I learned a lot reading threw the replies. I didn't get to read all of them so bare with me.

hi, transmasculine here! honestly i think the best thing any cis person can do is just be respectful. you dont have to scream and shout about how much you support us, you just need to respect our identities or at the very least mind your own business, you know? just treat trans people like anyone else and that will honestly mean way more to us than you may think :D
honestly? that we're just trying to live our lives.
- trans people get stuff wrong about trans stuff, too.
  i deadname myself in my head sometimes.
  i accidentally use the wrong pronouns for someone i know, then i correct myself.
  /the point is that you make an effort - folks can tell!/

Fair.

Instead of thinking of gender as a sliding scale, with 'male' and 'female' on either side, and 'genderless' in the middle, think of gender as a color wheel! The accepted binary being pink and blue doesn't mean that every other color is a shade of purple.

That's a interesting way to think about it! :o It's like a political compass!

2. "Nonbinary" is an umbrella term. It's not a trinary; male, female, and nonbinary. "Nonbinary" doesn't mean "no gender"; again, it is an umbrella term, and it means, "Anything outside of solely binary female, and solely binary male." Under that umbrella, there are nonbinaries who feel like they have no gender, but there are also nonbinaries who are aligned partially with one (or even both!) genders. And all sorts of other genders, too.
  • Nonbinary is an umbrella term that simply means people who are not strictly binary men or binary women (binary would basically mean you 100% identify as only that gender if that makes sense). That means there are a LOT of ways to be nonbinary, including still identifying with manhood or womanhood in some way. So if you see someone identifying as a nonbinary man or woman, though it might seem contradictory, it's actually not.

Kinda guilty for thinking that, woops!

  • This one will seem counterintuitive, but don't argue with transphobes publicly on social media. This is because of the way social media works, arguing with a transphobic person usually means you're actually giving them more visibility, which can be tiring for trans people who use the internet as an escape from that sort of stuff and also if you're not really good at debating stuff like this sometimes the transphobe will use this as more ammo against trans people. Like they will ignore that it's a cis person saying it and turn around and go "wow trans people truly make no sense". It's more impactful to post about how you support trans people and stuff like that, or bring attention to trans issues which need more visibility.

I'm also pretty guilty for this one as I am fairly uncensored in what I say. But during my time on social media I rarely saw that kind of content, mainly due to Twitter's left-wing moderation before Elon bought the platform. (Won't dive into that cus this is a topic about trans people, not Twitter. :tongue: )
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2023 @155.78 »

@DiffydaDude If you want to discuss the character specifically, I'm down to chat whenever! Promise I won't get offended or anything like that, lol. Writing is one of my passions, so if you need someone to talk to regarding that, just hit me up!

I'm down to chat with you sometime! Thanks for the offer :)
I was thinking of the character being robot with a monitor head if you were wondering.
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2023 @430.21 »

There's nothing really specific that I NEED cis people to know, I think. But the world would be a much more tolerant place if the idea of gender was seen the way we do. It's solid for some, fluid for others, and for me personally, I see it as a toy of sorts! Gender is something I can play with and have fun with, a bit like a metaphorical dress-up doll or action figure. It's nothing super serious to me, and sometimes I wish the rest of the world would see it that way too.
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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2024 @932.84 »

I think I have two main things in mind as a nonbinary person.

1) If you have a question about anything trans related, google it first and if you can't find it in the first few google pages, then go ask a trans person irl about it. The fact is that there's a ton of information out and publicly available online that could probably answer a lot of basic questions about being trans, such as information about pronouns, HRT, what gender affirming care is, what certain terms mean, etc. Even if you're asking something with good intentions, a lot of the time even the good natured questions come off as invasive when cis people ask you the same things over and over again because they aren't looking into their questions themselves. I'm all for having helpful discussions and telling people about the lived realities of not being cis, but cis people really can have a way of making trans people feel like bugs under a microscope or celebrities getting random paparazzi interview chasedowns.

2) Sometimes a lot of trans related stuff is not going to make sense to you, and that's okay. No one expects cis people to fully get it because being trans is a different lived experience. On the flip side of it, just because you as a cis person don't understand or get something that's in trans culture or important to trans people, that doesn't mean it's exclusionary or that it's being gatekept, or that the thing is inherently bad because it's not relatable to cis people. If you don't fully get something because it's not something you in your lived experience can relate to, the best response is to go elsewhere and find your own thing to do instead, and it's rude as hell to say "I'm an ally so you have to include me or else you're discriminating" when what you're actually asking for is for trans people to cater things to cis tastes and expectations.

This is such a great response honestly! I find a lot of my cis friends ask me things they could simply search for online and get better articulated responses about.

I am a Non-binary transmasc btw  :loved:
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2024 @934.34 »

I'm a nonbinary transmasculine person (some members in the system are nonbinary trans men but we're all some flavor of nonbinary generally speaking lol) and there are a couple things I can think of off of the top of my head that I want cis people to know:

  • Trans men and AFAB trans people do not transition to "escape misogyny". That may sometimes play a factor in it, but many aspects of misogyny affect us no matter what we identify as, and now we've got transphobia to deal with as well. In fact, the whole idea of AFAB trans people as "confused women who can't be trusted to make the best decisions for themselves" IS misogyny in and of itself, influenced by transphobia at the same time.
  • You don't need to fully understand us or get everything right all the time to support us. One of my biggest allies in high school when I came out as trans was my cis cousin who barely understood anything about being trans and constantly said kind of weirdly phrased stuff but would also throw hands with literally anyone who misgendered me on purpose. I remember another time, a new teacher didn't know that my name had changed and was calling out my deadname at the start of class for the attendance check, and a cis guy who had been actually pretty rude to me when I came out pulled him aside after class without my knowledge and gave him a full-on LECTURE (it got cleared up in the end and it was an honest mistake, but I still think it's cool how willing this friend was to defend me). There's always opportunities to do better if you mess up at first, and if you've got the right intentions and it's very clear that you're trying and willing to learn from mistakes and feedback, that means way more than being 100% perfect all the time.
  • There are weird/shitty people in every group, and that doesn't mean they represent that group as a whole or that they're not actually a "real" member of that group.
  • Trans people identifying with genders you don't understand does not mean "the trans movement has gone too far", it's a non-issue. You might not understand it, that doesn't mean it's necessarily harmful. Whenever transphobes tell my mom stuff like "oh, but aren't you worried about these kids who identify as CATS???" her response is always something along the lines of "Why would I be if they're not hurting anyone? Who cares? Just because it's weird doesn't mean it's wrong." which I think is a pretty good response to that sort of stuff.
  • Trans men in particular get infantilized a lot, while trans women seem to have an opposite issue of almost being seen as like... scary, threatening, etc. Even people within the trans community can have these biases, unfortunately. So it's probably worth it to sometimes examine what preconceived notions you might have of trans people or certain types of trans people and where those notions come from, how they might be influenced by gender roles, transphobia, and/or misogyny, etc.
  • There's a lot of fearmongering about medical transition, especially for trans men and transmasculine people, usually this comes from transphobes. There are some risks associated with certain procedures and stuff like that, but people are capable of making informed decisions about their own bodies and about what risks they're willing to take. Just because you wouldn't be okay with a certain risk, doesn't mean a trans person making the decision to take that risk on is wrong.
  • Nonbinary is an umbrella term that simply means people who are not strictly binary men or binary women (binary would basically mean you 100% identify as only that gender if that makes sense). That means there are a LOT of ways to be nonbinary, including still identifying with manhood or womanhood in some way. So if you see someone identifying as a nonbinary man or woman, though it might seem contradictory, it's actually not.
  • Trans people don't always use the pronouns typically associated with their gender, and that's fine. In fact, cis people also don't have to use the pronouns typically associated with their gender.
  • This one is a personal one (and also is a thing I wish other trans people knew lol), but if you're told that someone uses it/its pronouns, please respect those pronouns the same way you would any other pronouns! It's fine to not want these pronouns applied to you, but not everyone will feel the same way about them.
  • People can identify as nonbinary and still be lesbian or gay, those identities aren't exclusive of nonbinary genders (especially since nonbinary genders are not a monolith).
  • It's probably a good idea to research anti-trans dogwhistles and stuff like that, and the reasoning behind why certain myths about trans people are wrong/harmful. I think this is one of the most helpful things a cis ally can do actually - both because it helps you avoid accidentally spreading harmful rhetoric or even getting sucked into it, and because if you want to educate another cis person, you'll actually have the knowledge to explain stuff well.
  • This one will seem counterintuitive, but don't argue with transphobes publicly on social media. This is because of the way social media works, arguing with a transphobic person usually means you're actually giving them more visibility, which can be tiring for trans people who use the internet as an escape from that sort of stuff and also if you're not really good at debating stuff like this sometimes the transphobe will use this as more ammo against trans people. Like they will ignore that it's a cis person saying it and turn around and go "wow trans people truly make no sense". It's more impactful to post about how you support trans people and stuff like that, or bring attention to trans issues which need more visibility.

Okay that list turned out longer than I thought it would, oops. I might also ask my girlfriend later if she has anything to add from the trans woman side of things.

This was also a great list of points!
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by SilkSkull
Things you've overheard?

Started by DoctorScreechBoard ☕︎ ∙ Fun & Forum Games

Replies: 11
Views: 2142
Last post May 09, 2024 @874.49
by BUTCHBONEZ
hello people!

Started by AshBoard ☕︎ ∙ Fun & Forum Games

Replies: 4
Views: 1898
Last post July 17, 2022 @562.63
by Alejandro

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