Trans Awareness Week is taking place from November 13th to 19th, and at KCLSU we’re committed to raising awareness and providing support to make King’s a better place for our trans community. We can all work to become better allies at King’s and beyond, so we’ve listed some tips for expanding and improving your allyship below.
Know your language
Language matters, and goes a long way in helping trans people feel comfortable. It’s great to get into the habit of asking for pronouns before you address someone, and offering your own pronouns can help to signal that you’re an ally. Don’t assume someone’s gender identity, either - you can’t tell just by looking at them. Try using the gender-neutral ‘they’ pronoun if you haven’t learned someone’s pronouns yet.
It’s also important never to intentionally deadname someone. Deadnaming is using the birth or former name of a trans or non-binary person, and it can be hurtful and offensive. Don’t ask about former names either - commit to respecting the names of your trans peers.
If you accidentally deadname someone or use the wrong pronouns, you can apologise to them and move on. Don’t make a scene or make them feel uncomfortable, but do commit to getting it right in the future.
Be a consistent ally
Being a trans ally means committing to being an ally even when there are no trans people around. It might be easier to laugh off casual transphobia or ignorance, but it’s not allyship. Don’t be afraid to gently remind your peers to respect pronouns and names, use the right terms, and avoid transphobic language. Challenging transphobia and offering your support for inclusive language and actions helps to show that you’re committed to being a full-time ally.
Support your peers
Here at KCLSU, we’re marking Trans Awareness Week with a range of events to support and celebrate the trans community at King’s. Look out for opportunities to show your support, and feel free to share events and resources to help others learn as well. Becoming a better ally requires putting in the work, so take advantage of opportunities to learn more.
If your trans friends and peers are going through a tough time, be there for them. Don’t rush them into coming out if they’re not ready, and let them explore their identity at their own pace. By offering your unconditional respect and support, you’re demonstrating that you’re ready to be there for the trans community.
There are many great resources on being a better trans ally. We’ve included some helpful links below: