Wednesday, February 22, 2017

7 Things to Never Ask


By Vera Papisova
Photographs by Diane Russo
Makeup by Brit Cochran
Fashion by Sarah Brody
Hair by Blake Erik
Feb 23, 2016

Model Hari Nef visited Teen Vogue to teach us a few things about what you should avoid saying to transgender people. You might be curious about the transgender community and transitioning, and it's great that you want to educate yourself, but there are a few common mistakes cisgender people make that can end up very hurtful. "If you don't know somebody," Hari says, "whether you're inquiring into their sex or their gender, it's invasive." A key rule is to never replace a Google search with candidly asking a transgender person about their personal gender, transition, or surgeries. "Whatever surgery someone wants to get is none of your business," she says. It's also important to note that sexuality (gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, etc) has nothing to do with gender. "Sexuality is who you want to be with. Gender identity is who you want to be in the world," Hari says.

And if you want to know how someone identifies, simply ask, “what pronoun do you use? I use she/her.” It helps if you think about whether or not someone can ask the same question of a cisgender person. Remember that the point of being thoughtful and correct in your phrasing is to create an environment inclusive of everyone. "We don't have very much evidence around us to allow us to feel affirmed, so this is tough enough already," Hari explains. We think it's about time our transgender friends feel affirmed wherever they are, and thanks to Hari, we're already on our way.

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