This story was originally published on June 16, 2016, and we're bringing it to your attention again in honour of Transgender Day Of Visibility.
Imagine if, upon meeting you for the first time, an acquaintance started questioning the intimate details of your life. You’ve barely said "Hello," and this person is on to asking how you have sex, what your genitals look like, and whether or not your family hates you?
Unfortunately, this is a common experience for those who are transgender or gender-nonconforming. There is still a ton of misunderstanding around non-binary identities, which leads to some very stressful daily interactions for trans and GNC folks. (Don’t even get me started on pronouns!)
Don’t want to be part of the problem? The first step in being an ally to the trans and GNC community is doing some homework. To help you do your part, we’ve put together 15 things you should never say to someone trans or GNC. Here are a few basic definitions to start you off:
Transgender (or trans) is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Gender-Nonconforming (GNC) describes some people whose gender expression is different from conventional expectations of masculinity and femininity.
Cisgender (or cis) is a term for people who are not transgender.
The gender binary is a socially defined code of acceptable behaviors which classifies gender into two distinct, opposite, and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine.
The gap between what we learned in sex ed and what we're learning through sexual experience is big — way too big. So we're helping to connect those dots by talking about the realities of sex, from how it's done to how to make sure it's consensual, safe, healthy, and pleasurable all at once. Check out more here.