Thursday, 04 August 2011 03:41

Exploring Gender: How to Handle Questions About Trans Friends

Written by  Cael

summer-camp

 

Recently I went to help out at a camp one of my friends works at, demonstrating horse care. When she was proposing that I come to help out, she told her boss my name was Cael and used male pronouns. But she did know me before I started to transition, so she is still getting used to the pronoun change. She slipped up, using she instead of he, and her boss caught the slip up and proceeded to ask her what the deal was.

 

She told her boss about transitioning and FTM and transgender and all of these different subjects to which she had never been introduced. Her boss then brought up several different questions: Will the kids be able to tell? What do we tell them? And a few others. So I went to the camp, taught the campers a bit more about horses as they continually asked my friend if I was her boyfriend, having no clue of my transition. None of them knew the difference.

My friend came up to me recently to ask how she should deal with the situation of having to explain my transition to someone outside of our circle. The easiest answer is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be explained. I’m male, and for someone who has not known me previously, that is how I am viewed. Slip ups do happen though, so the main thing to remember is that any friend you have who is transitioning or genderqueer is still the same person. It is important to explain the correct terms when necessary: transgender, FTM, but remember that isn’t the main thing people need to realize. Whether male or female, a person is the same individual, and that is the main thing to try to relate to anyone asking those questions. Some will still be wary and unsure because it is different and something many people do not deal with, but being assured in your friend’s transition will communicate the feeling of nonchalance any questioner would need to feel from you. If you have any sort of doubt, the person questioning you will feel that doubt and might perceive it as something you see wrong with transitioning. So the main things to remember are: 1.   Your friend is the same person he or she always was, and 2.   If you present any kind of doubt it will affect how the questioner receives your answers.

Hopefully this helps those of you out there with friends who are transitioning. Remember you can always post message me any questions you have for me to address.

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