{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Hi, I'm Chris, a transgender woman; in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, I would like to answer your questions about being a better ally to your work colleagues, friends and family. Looking forward to chatting with you. Don't be shy, ask away.", "post_id": "6245969e104cb60027ec05ae", "reply_count": 264, "vote_count": 285, "bowl_id": "5e6fe1c31f5e51001d267e46", "bowl_name": "The Work-Life Bowl", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Hi, I'm Chris, a transgender woman; in honor of Transgender Day of Visibility, I would like to answer your questions about being a better ally to your work colleagues, friends and family. Looking forward to chatting with you. Don't be shy, ask away.

likeupliftinghelpfulfunny
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Chris, thank you for doing this. My sister is a young trans woman and was so stressed about starting work in public (we’re Canadian too) and i shared a link to one of your videos with her.

Know that your candor encouraged a young woman be more confident in herself and is inspirational to everyone in my family.

My question for you: many of my more senior coworkers do not “get” when they’re being TERF-y, still stuck in this “pink hat” genre of feminism, linking womanhood to having a uterus, not understanding things like “some men have periods” and needing someone to walk them through the experience of some trans men. it’s annoying! what can i do to help them “get it”

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Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm glad your sister is coming into her own. I'm certain that she will have a stellar career. To answer your question: I think patience is key. Not everybody's knowledge or opinions evolve at the same speed. We can't force everyone to learn as the same speed. Until then we have no choice but to do our part and preach, teach and spread the good queer word : ) I am optimistic. I think most people will come around. But it may take another 5 to 10 years. Which, in the context of broad historical changes, is a relatively short time.

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Thanks for the opportunity, Chris! I’m really curious as to why you think including pronouns in electronic signature is helpful when the majority of the people who use them are She/Her and He/His anyway. Do you also feel that pronouns have lost their purpose and turned into a badge of ‘I may be gay but I’m manly’ for guys and ‘I’m a feminist’ for women. Or why do you think there are no more people claiming ‘She/they’ and ‘He/they’? I feel comfortable both with ‘She/they’ but I’m hesitant to use them as a straight woman/mom as I don’t want my colleagues to think that I might be planning to change my gender. I guess I answered part of my own question!

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@A2 - thank you for the insight you shared on pronouns. I’ve always included them out of a vague/instinctual sense of solidarity. But your explanation defined it for me on a new level. This is exactly what I referenced in my initial comment that there is always more to learn and understand, and this thread is so valuable because you’ve created a space to discuss, human-to-human, without bias/fear/hesitation that is all too rare. I’ve now learned something I didn’t know I needed to know.

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Do you think it's offensive if I don't include pronouns in my signature or mention my pronouns during professional meetings?

likefunnyhelpfulsmart

A quick point: context is key. Sometimes the setting will be too informal, or to rushed to go around the table asking for pronouns and that is ok too. When that happens, listen to the way people refer to themselves and each other. Nobody is saying that we should constantly walk around stating what are pronouns are to the world. That is why evergreen markers like an email signature or social media handles are important they do that job for you.

likesmart

I too have no specific questions but reading through all the above is really eye opening. Thank you so much for this gift. Also I really love the tone you have - of being patient, kind and loving towards all - irrespective of where they are in their journey to understand the LGBTQ community. This tone is quite rare.
My teenager just came out as being gay and his tone is very much off the cuff confrontational even though as parents we both very readily accepted and I was not even surprised- I was just waiting for him to come out in his time. How do I help him get to your kind of comfort and confidence and tone?

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I'm sure that deep inside he appreciates your love and support. Hang in there!

likeuplifting

This is generous and helpful, so thank you. I come from a non-diverse small town so I’m in the dark! At my prior job we had a FTM colleague and I wanted to know if I can speak with them the way I do with with other guys. It would feel natural to me, but I know my feelings are not the only ones in the room. My vernacular tends to use a few ‘you guys’ ‘dude’ ‘no way man’… Should I keep being me or be mindful of those words if they’re offensive or insensitive?

likeupliftingfunny

This is so helpful. Thank you for doing this.

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Chris - thank you for your time and openness! This is a beautiful way to celebrate today!

likefunny

You’re welcome!

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I don't have any question. I read all the threads. Just a big thanks for doing this. You're amazing.

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Also just wanted to say thank you 🏳️‍⚧️🥰

What a gift you've given this community. Thank you for being here ❤🧡💛💚💙💜🤎🖤🤍

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You are too kind. I'm glad this is helping a little bit. Cheers.

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Thanks for doing this, Chris. You're awesome. Do you work in a place where you feel welcome/comfortable? If so, what makes it feel that way to you? If not, what would help? Happy Trans Day of Visibility!

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How do you balance this what the fact that trans and non-binary make up <1% of the population

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Salut Chris,

In your opinion, what’s the best way to educate our clients in advertising for more Trans visibility? I feel like even though it’s easy to say “we’re progressive and welcoming” most companies/brands are still reticent to include Transgender people in the influence teams or general casting for social ads. What do you say to them? How do we, collectively, start to actively include Transgender people?

Thanks, take care :)

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Merciiii!

1) Hi! 👋🏼 2) How do you feel when someone asks for your opinion based on the trans facet of your identity, “Hey Chris as a trans woman what do you think of this?” Same goes when someone wants an opinion about BIPOC but is uncomfortable approaching someone for an opinion calling out their BIPOC identity 3) would love your excellent opinion on this swimmer athlete news cycle.

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Well Chris,

We can agree to disagree. I will not ever believe that hormone therapy makes you the same as me, physiologically, when it comes to sports. It’s too late to reverse the effects that testosterone has had, not just your height, but your lung capacity, your heart size, broad shoulders and the size of your feet and hands— which are very important in swimming.

Also, I would not call it segregation. I would call it creating a new division. just as there are separate divisions for men and women there are separate divisions for physically challenged athletes. No one has complaints about giving the physically challenged athletes their own division. No one says they’re being segregated. There’s no beef because it’s just fairer to folks with disabilities and it’s fairer to people without disabilities.

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OP- standing ovation to you. It is absolutely awesome that you started this conversation. Regardless of how engaged and ‘experienced’ we are as allies, we can always learn and creating a forum like you’re doing opens the door to ask questions that go unasked out of fear or insecurity about getting it wrong. I love this post, and credit to you for standing in confidence and pride enough to invite this dialogue. 👏🏻🤘🏻👏🏻

likeuplifting

Thank you so much and thanks to the good people at fishbowl who have been kind enough to invite me to do this

likeuplifting

Thank you very much for taking the time to do this! This is possibly a minor one - I've used "dude" and "man" as part of my vocabulary since I was, well, a kid. I'm working on breaking out of the habit of saying things like "whats up dude" to new male-seeming individuals I meet/whose genders I don't know. However, when speaking to a trans male (or any person, really) who identifies as "he/him", are phrases like "how was your weekend dude!" or "hey man!" okay to use, or should they still be avoided?

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Hi, I’m a nonbinary person who pretty much always gets lumped in with women, and it does make me feel misunderstood and dysphoric when someone opens a meeting with “hey ladies,” or calls me “ma’am,”etc. It’s especially difficult because I know these people have the best intentions and are otherwise so kind. It makes a huge difference to me when people use gender neutral language—so thank you so much for asking. We spend so much of our lives at work, especially in PA, and feeling accepted, and even maybe understood during that time is huge for our mental health. Plus, I think gender neutral language is so much more fun and I encourage you to have fun with it. On the tamer end, we have Everyone, Folks, All, and Team. On the more fun side we have, Distinguished Colleagues, Pals, Squad, Y’all , Crew, Friends and Foes, Party People, Gum Drops, Cowards, Mouth Breathers, Mateys (as in pirates), Mates (as in australians), Confidants, Scientists, and Esteemed Associates.

likeupliftingsmarthelpful

Hi, I’m Dana, joining the conversation! Happy Trans Day of Visibility. I'm a trans woman who writes law and policy on trans equity and inclusion. Happy to answer your questions about being a better ally to your work colleagues, friends, and family.

likefunny

Hello Dana! Thanks for joining in the conversation. This has been a beautiful day for me and I hope you enjoy the conversations here as much as I have. Cheers.

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Such an amazing thread Chris. Thank you for doing this!

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Just wanted to say hello since it’s been a while since we worked together :) Thank you for being so open with your journey and work to make the industry a more inclusive place.

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Hello Emma! I'm so happy to read from you here! Thanks for the kind words

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Just want to say thank you Chris. As a cis-gender older white male - I know I come to the table with a lot of ignorance and your willingness to share and educate is very helpful. At end of day, hopeful we can all come to the table, and all be welcomed to that table for our talents (seems so logical in my head - but I can’t imagine how hard that has been for so many that don’t fit the 1950’s western norms).

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read this thread. I think if more people took the time to hear each other out we would have a less divided society.

Chris, you are awesome!! Thanks so much for this. I've been wondering lately what are the appropriate situations in which to share my pronouns (verbally)? Any time when I'm addressing a large group at work? What about a small group meeting? What about social situations? Note: I'm cis-gender, just want to be a good ally.

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I tend to advise folks do it at the start of a larger presentation and to use their best judgment for smaller groups. If everyone already knows everyone and their preferred pronouns, I sometimes recommend just adding them in parenthesis to their name (if on a Zoom call, for instance), or on their name tag if one is provided. If the group is more intimate than that and some folks are unfamiliar with others, it's an easy thing to slip into introductions.

In social situations, play that one by ear. Most folks don't share their pronouns outright, however it is common to be asked your pronouns in a polite way. In those settings, if you are uncertain of someone's pronouns, you can lead with saying your pronouns and asking theirs. That is perfectly acceptable and, at least where I am at, generally considered polite.

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As someone who does not have transgenders in immediate social circles, I have been ignorant to many issues being discussed. Just want to say thank you for educating me.

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It is my pleasure. I sure hope this helps.

Hey Chris, me again. Sorry you are having to deal with some pretty low IQ rhetoric from the peanut gallery

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Yeah yeah

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