On October 6th, Laverne Cox graced us with her presence as the keynote of One Mizzou Week. At the packed Missouri Theater, she spoke on what it was like to grow up as a trans woman, how she is working to promote awareness about issues trans women face and talk about her new movie, “The T Word.” (It premieres 10/17, check it out!)
Inspired by Laverne’s visit, our meeting was about trans women and feminism. None of the presenters were trans, we were not taking for trans people; we were trying to point out how feminism has failed trans women in the past and pass along tips to be a better ally from trans people.
In short, things to ask:
- What are a person’s preferred pronouns (and offer yours!)
- If that person has spaces where they are not out, i.e. if there are some spaces where certain pronouns are safe
Things not to ask:
- A persons “real” or “birth” name
- Anything about their genitalia
- Where they are in the transitioning process/if they are transitioning
When doing research about being a trans ally, always look for sources from trans people. That’s the most reliable way to get advice that will actually help support trans people you may know or interact with.
There may be a small percentage of “radfems” who disagree that transwomen are not women, but by spreading the knowledge you learn about being a trans ally to other cis people; we can use feminism to help create and maintain safe spaces for transwomen around the world.