Chatting with a Trans Person: 5 Questions You Should Avoid Asking

Trans people used to experience more social pressure than other population groups. But fortunately, the world (at least developed countries) is changing and moving toward equality and inclusion. Acceptance of LGBTQ is on the rise now, so trans people have more freedom to express themselves and enjoy their lives. 

As members of modern society, we should educate ourselves on topics related to LGBTQ to learn how to be respectful and appropriate. Do you want to become a better ally to transgender people? Here is a list of things you should never ask a trans person you have just met.

Questions about Their Birth Name

Questions like, “What are your real names?” are inappropriate. Our names are an integral part of our identity. An individual can use any name that better resonates with them. So, when you ask about real or birth names, you question the identity of the person you are talking to. In this way, you show your ignorance and disrespect. 

When you meet someone on a trans dating app, please don’t ask them any questions about their names. Use the nickname displayed in their profile – they have chosen this name so they expect you to use it.

Questions about Surgery

Having surgery, in general, is not a pleasant experience. You don’t want someone to ask you about your appendectomy or ingrown toenail removal, do you? 

Surgery is one of the most intimate events for transgender people. You should respect trans people and the transformation that they have (or haven’t!) undergone in their physical bodies. Don’t start talking about the surgery unless they are the ones who initiate the topic.

Questions About Sexual Orientation

Questions related to sexual orientation are always the most irritating and inappropriate. Never should you ever ask something like this, “Are you just secretly gay?”

You should educate yourself on this topic and learn that gender identity and sexual orientation are two different things. A transgender woman, someone who is assigned male at birth and transitions to female, can experience attraction to men and identify herself as a straight woman. Or, she can be interested in women and identify herself as a lesbian. Just like other people, transgender people can experience attraction to men, women, and be straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, or asexual.

Random Questions about Trans People You Know 

Trying to be an LGBTQ ally, you can make some typical mistakes. For instance, you may start asking a trans-gender person random questions about the trans-gender people you have met in the past. Here is an example of such a conversation:

“So, you are a trans person! I have two trans friends! Do you know Sally Green and Jennifer Black?“

Well, you might have good intentions – you ask these questions to maintain the conversation and show that you have positive attitudes toward trans people. But indeed, these questions are inappropriate.

By asking such questions, you suppose that trans people are few and they know each other. Obviously, this is not the case, so you should better find different topics to discuss.

Questions about Bathroom

“What bathroom do you use?” – This is one of the most frequently asked and annoying questions. If you want to make friends with trans people, you should never ask them. Otherwise, transgender people will see you as a rude person.

Wrapping Up

Keep educating yourself, be polite with everyone you meet, and you will become a good LGBTQ ally. Remember that you should always be mindful when discussing sensitive topics with the people you have just met. However, if you have known the person for a while and both of you feel comfortable answering more intimate questions, you can go for it.

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