Xena not a dude...
Credit: Facebook

      Have you ever met a transgendered woman in your travels? You might one day be in a restaurant or theatre and spot what you might believe to be a “man” dressed as a woman; when in fact you are probably looking at a transgendered woman or transwoman. You're intrigued and want to approach her but what do you say? Well you can say “Hello, how are you today?” or “Nice weather we are having” or even “you look lovely today”. There are many things you can say to her that would make her day. There are also things you should avoid saying, talking about or even referring too. For example, “What is your real name?” or “Did you get the surgery?” and please don’t ask “Are you a tranny?”! These questions and a few others can completely insult her and put you in the dog house for life!

 What is your real name?

    This completely and utterly invalidates her Gender Identity, which is of course female, and you are implying that her name is somehow fake and unreal. The name she gave you is the name she has chosen and It's probably very important to her. It has taken her months, even years to pick her name and considers her old name to be a travesty and akin to a “slave name” She wont tell you anyway and besides that, would you ask a stranger right out of the blue if they had any aliases? I doubt it.

 Did you get the surgery?

      Are you Kidding with this one? Would you ask a total stranger about his her genitalia at all? So how come its OK suddenly to ask a transwoman? I wonder because they often get asked this question by people they have just met and its very inappropriate. Could you imagine “Hey there how are you, nice to meet you, sooo how big is your penis? Do you hang to the left or the right?”

 Are you a tranny?

      It should be obvious that you should not ask this question yet somehow it always gets asked. People do not realize that calling a Transwoman a “tranny” is equivalent to calling out any of the other racial, gender or sexual orientation slanders and slurs our society so readily provides us with. It's one of the most insulting things you can call her .You just met a Caucasian male and you immediately ask “Are you a honkey?”; somehow I doubt it.

 Ask about her sex life?

      Do not approach a transwoman, or any woman, and ask her about her sex life. “Hi my name if Frank, how do you have sex?” Would you ask your mother this? Yours sister? Daughter? Use some common sense and realize that certain topics are off limits to anyone besides those in an intimate relationship. Just because someone is transgendered does not give you the excuse to ask any question that you can imagine. Respect, a simple notion.

 Say “I think of you as a woman”

      What you are saying when you say something like this is “I don’t think of you as a woman” Its a quick and surefire way to shut down a conversation and have her politely excuse herself. She would rather smack you upside the head, but she is a woman and wont give you the sound drubbing you so obviously deserve. Try saying something like “Your a very stunning lady”, remember honey will get you more flies than vinegar.

 Can I see an old picture of you?Transgender Symbol

      Why would someone ask this question? Well it gets asked a lot and I often wonder why if not for the purposes of seeing what you “really” look like. What she really looks like is the person that stands before you. transwomen go through a lot of time, trouble and pain to get where they are; so please give the benefit of your acceptance, if even just for the moment. “Would you show me a picture of you at your worst please? How about one where you have the flu? Or after you just got fired?” I know you carry pictures like that in your wallet at the ready...not.

      You can see there are at least 6 things you don’t want to say to a transwoman. There mostly common sense if you think about it. So when your intrigued and want to approach a transwoman, say “Hi, my name is Bob, how are you today?” She is a woman and worked very hard to get there and would really appreciate your respect. And for God sake don’t ever refer to her as a “Dude”!

The Transgender Handbook
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