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  • Writer's pictureDiego Tomasino

12 Tips for becoming allies of the Trans Community

Today, November 20 is International Trans Day of Remembrance, a day of deep meaning, in which we remember with respect and love transsexual, transgender and non-binary gender people who have been victims of intolerance and violence. 🕯🏳️‍⚧️​

Trans Remembrance Day was created in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender graphic designer and activist, in memory of Rita Hester, an American African-American trans woman recognized for her work defending the rights of the trans population.

Rita Hester mural in Alsston, Massachusetts
Rita Hester mural in Alsston, Massachusetts

The main cause of death in this community is violence gender. Between 2008 and 2022, more than four thousand deaths of trans people have been recorded due to hate crimes. 39% were produced in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 92% were trans women.

Beyond the statistics, behind each number there is a life, a story and a spirit that deserve to be honored. Today, we come together to raise awareness about the daily struggle that trans people face and to commemorate those who are no longer with us.​​

Coming out as allies of the trans community

In order to learn a little more about working on our empathy with the trans community, today I invited Pau Gonzalez to share some tips with us. Pau is a Consultant for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and was co-founder of the Fundación Hombres Trans Panama .

“Being an effective ally of trans people means showing support and solidarity, as well as working to create an inclusive and respectful environment. Here are some ways allies can be better allies to trans people.”

1. Be educated about the diversity of gender identities: Become familiar with terms such as cisgender, transgender, gender non-binary, etc. Understand that gender identity does not always coincide with gender assignment at birth.

2. Respect and use correct pronouns: Learn and use the pronouns preferred by the trans person. If you are unsure, it is acceptable to ask politely.

3. Listen to the experiences of trans people without judging: Validate their feelings and struggles, recognizing the importance of their identities.

4. Defend the rights of trans people: Support policies and laws that protect rights of trans people.

5. Report discrimination and violence based on gender identity. Your voice is important and in situations of discrimination it can make a difference in the life of a trans person.

6. Create a safe environment: Foster an inclusive and respectful environment at work, school and elsewhere. Intervene if you witness or hear discriminatory or transphobic comments.

7. Recognize and challenge gender stereotypes: Question and challenge gender stereotypes that contribute to discrimination. Promotes a broader and more respectful understanding of gender diversity.

8. Advocate for mental health and access to medical care: Recognize the specific challenges that trans people face in terms of mental health. Advocate for equitable access to health care, including care related to gender transition.

9. Participate in DEI events, groups and activities: Support and participate in events, groups and activities that promote inclusion and gender diversity. Contribute to the creation of more diverse and understanding communities.

10. Recognize and correct mistakes: If you make mistakes, acknowledge them and correct them in a respectful manner. Learn from those experiences to improve your understanding and support.

11. Advocate for inclusive workplace policies: Advocate for workplace inclusion policies that respect and protect gender identity. Foster a work environment that celebrates diversity and inclusion.

12. Continuous learning: Being a good ally to trans people involves a continuous commitment to learning, empathy and action. It is important to remember that support can come in a variety of ways and that each trans person may have unique needs and experiences

I think people can get involved by taking the time to get to know a trans person, beyond the labels, for the human being that we are, and find that there are perhaps more things in common than we think. Maybe people could be surprised and realize that a trans person can inspire them, because among human beings we can all inspire each other, with love, with respect with empathy, to support each other to be our best version: )

Together, let's raise our voices and remember that trans lives matter. 🏳️‍⚧️​

If you want to learn more about how to create inclusive spaces in your company, I invite you to read "Come Out! The Ultimate Guide for Inclusivity in the Business. - Available in Spanish, Portuguese and English

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