The thing about us gender queer or gender nonconforming people is that we have a bit more flexibility when it comes to gender expression. This comic deals in extremes but it’s true for me personally when some days I yearn to be as masculine as possible and other days I want to be as feminine as possible.
Most days? On top of the body shaming that most people deal with? we also tend to have a ton of baggage when it comes to internalized transphobia – such that there are days when simply looking at mascara can stress me out.
So even though there are days I’d love to present as female? Most days I simply can’t summon the courage.
Here are 3 simple things you can do to help if you know someone with these issues:
1) Ask them how’re they’re doing – chances are they think nobody cares and they’re dying to vent, but if they choose not to talk about gender then don’t push it!
2) Pay them a compliment – just like you’d tell your other friends they look cute in a dress, or bow tie? make sure to notice and appreciate stylistic choices that defy gendered expectations, recognition goes a long way (just keep it short and sweet!)
HOWEVER – don’t treat us like we’re a tragedy and tell us how brave we are.
3) Educate yourself – ok so I may have mentioned this before but so much heartache and awkwardness could be avoided if people took the time to learn about trans/gender issues. There are tons of forums online where you can ask questions safely and get plenty of references for reading material.