A guide to being an ally to transgender and non-binary youth

Differences between sex and gender

Sex is the classification of a person as male, female, or intersex - typically based solely on one’s genitals. Gender describes our internal understanding and experience of our own gender identity.
Gender expression describes the way in which we present our gender (e.g. physical appearance, clothing, hairstyles, behaviour). Our perceived gender is based on other people's evaluation of our bodies, which we cannot control.

Names and pronouns

Names: Some names can seem gendered, so some transgender/ non-binary people choose a new name that aligns with their gender. You can honour the name that they ask to be referred to.
Pronouns: We cannot assume someone's pronouns. Examples of pronouns include:
1. She/her
2. He/him
3. They/them
4. Ze/Zie
5. Xe/Xem
6. Ve/Ver
Honorific: A respectful title/ form of address (e.g. ‘Ms' or ‘Mx')

How to support transgender/ non-binary people


Disclosure: If your friend shares their experiences with their gender, you may want to inform people in your group to use the correct pronouns. Refrain from sharing anyone's story for them


Transitioning: You should never ask invasive questions on someone's body


Age: There is no ‘right' age to understand your gender


Sexuality: Just because you know someone's gender does not mean you know their sexuality

How to support transgender/ non-binary people


‘Passing': A term used to describe if someone is perceived as a certain gender. For many trans people, being able to ‘pass' as the gender they align with is important. However, the term might imply that being perceived as cisgender is the goal


Misgendering: Stand up for someone if you witness someone being harassed for their gender


Microaggression: Often subtle. If someone is hurt by something you've done, take the time to learn

What to do if you've offended someone




Be accountable


Commit to do better

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