What’s the Brought to you by: AJ Owens Ball State University Transgender • One of the less understood parts of the queer alphabet, transgender refers to someone whose biological sex is not in agreement with their gender identity. • Sex and gender are two words that often get lumped together and viewed as the same thing, but that is not always true. Biological Sex • Sex is purely physical. A person can be male, female, or intersex. – Intersex refers to someone who is not necessarily transgender who has a chromosomal makeup that is neither XX or XY. This is not the same thing as being transgender. • Sex is based on chromosomes, secondary sex characteristics (breasts, body fat distribution, etc.), and genitalia. Gender • Gender is a socially constructed idea about what a person should behave like according to their assigned gender at birth. Someone’s gender is usually assigned based on their sex. • People are socialized as male or female. • Everything people attribute to what “boys do” and what “girls do” is all determined by your environment, culture, upbringing, and media. There is very little biological influence if any at all. Vocab Lesson! • Transgender: A person whose biological sex is not in agreement with their gender identity • Cisgender: A person whose biological sex and gender identity are in agreement. The majority of people are cisgender. • Transexual: A person who undergoes physical treatments or procedures to reflect their gender physically (breast augmentation, hormone therapy, genital reconstruction, etc.) • Gender Binary: The incorrect assumption that there are only two genders. Gender is a continuum in which male and female are on opposite ends. A person can fall on either end or somewhere in between. • Genderqueer: Someone who is transgender who does not identify as either male or female. Vocab Lesson! • Intersex: A person whose chromosomes are neither XX or XY. You may have heard this term as a “hermaphrodite”, which is offensive. • Gender Identity: Gender identity is something internal. Every person has one whether it is male, female, genderqueer, or something else altogether. Put simply, gender identity is how you personally identify your own gender. • Gender Expression: Gender expression is the way that you choose to show your gender to the world. People do this by their mannerisms, the clothes they wear, the words they use, and a million other things. Every person expresses their gender a little differently. Gender Binary • Gender is not just male or female. Gender is like a continuum. Think of it on a line where male is on one end and female is on the other. A person can identify their gender anywhere on that line. This is both internal in the way you identify yourself and in the way that you express your gender. Male Female Why Should I Care? Outside of just being a decent human being and basic respect for a person, here are some nice statistics that illustrate why being a transgender ally are important: – Transgender people are four times more likely to live in poverty. – Transgender people experience unemployment at twice the rate of the general population, with rates for people of color up to four times the national unemployment rate. – 90% of transgender people report experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job. – 22% of respondents who have interacted with police reported harassment by police, with much higher rates reported by people of color. Almost half of the respondents (46%) reported being uncomfortable seeking police assistance. – 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to 1.6% of the general population. – Transgender people still cannot serve in the US Military. Preferred Pronouns • A pronoun is a way of referring to a person without using a name (ex. He, she, they, we, I, you, etc.) • A male typically prefers pronouns like he, himself, and him. • A female typically prefers she, herself, and her. • Other common pronouns people may prefer are – They, theirs, themself (used as singular) – Ze, Zir, Zirself, Zes • Ze = He, Zir = Him, Zirself = Himself, Zes = His Misgendering • It is important to use someone’s preferred gender pronouns (PGPs) once you know what those pronouns are. • This is all about basic respect for how someone wants to be referred to. • If you identified as a male and someone always called you she would you appreciate it? Probably not. How To Respectfully Ask About PGPs • The keyword here is to ASK. Do not assume! • Be sure to always ask one on one if possible. Do Say: • Can you tell me what your preferred pronouns are? • What pronouns do you prefer? Don’t Say: • What are you? • Are you a boy or a girl? Names • Do not ask a person who is transgender what their “old name” or “boy/girl name” is. – This is really disrespectful, because it invalidates the identity that they are displaying now. – Also there is no legitimate reason that you need to know in the first place. Being respectful is better than curiosity. • Whatever name someone tells you to call them is what you should call them. Words/Phrases Not To Use • Tranny: Originated in the porn industry. • Transvestite: Outdated term for a cross dresser. • Cross Dresser: This is just a form of gender expression that does not necessarily indicate someone is transgender. • Drag Queen/King: Drag is a performance of gender. It has nothing to do with being transgender. This term is not offensive, but it just does not substitute for transgender. • Hermaphrodite: A disrespectful way of saying intersex. • It: People are not its. Simple as that. • Have you had the surgery?: Do you want someone asking about your genitals in casual conversation? Laverne Cox • Laverne Cox is a trans* activist and actress. She is most famous for her role as Sophia on Orange is the New Black.