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Being an Ally to Transgender and Intersex Folks

Becoming an Ally to Transgender and Intersex People


  • Challenge your own conceptions about gender-appropriate roles and behavior
  • Ask for the person's Preferred Gender Pronoun or PGP
  • Proactively gender trans people to establish pronouns, particularly in introductions
  • Intervene in misgendering
  • Advocate for more inclusive, non-sex segregated spaces
  • Educate yourself and pass on this knowledge to others
  • Challenge gender assumptions in the classroom and around campus
  • Recognize your privilege & prejudices as a normatively gendered person.
  • Do listen if a transperson chooses to talk to you about their gender identity.  Be honest about things you don’t understand—don’t try to fake it!
  • Don’t assume all transpeople want hormones and/or surgery, or to transition at all.
  • Attend QRC events!
  • Attend a QRC Ally training to receive an Ally placard to hang in your room or office.

Things Non-Transgendered Persons Take for Granted


  • Strangers do not ask me what my “real name” (birth name) is and then assume they have a right to call me by that name.
  • People do not disrespect me by using incorrect pronouns even after they’ve been corrected.
  • I do not have to worry about whether I will be able to find a bathroom to use or whether I will be safe changing in a locker room.
  • Strangers don’t assume they can ask me what my genitals look like and how I have sex.
  • If I end up in the emergency room, I do not have to worry that my gender will keep me from receiving appropriate treatment, nor will all of my medical issues be seen as a product of my gender.


Adapted from: California State University Safe Zone Ally Handbook.