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My friend/relative is transsexual

Currently this page is a work in progress, and we would appreciate any help or input in adding to it.

It’s not your fault

The first and most important thing to remember when discussing or discovering that a friend or family member is transsexual is that their being transsexual is not your fault. People either are transsexual or they aren’t and if they are, it is a condition that they are born with; it does not develop due to you being a bad parent, or their friends being a bad influence on them.

They are still the same person

Another very important thing to remember is that your transsexual friend, child, parent, uncle, aunt, cousin or sweetheart is not a completely different person. Their favourite colour is the same, and they still like the same foods, do the same activities. This is an addition, a change of one aspect of their identity.

Pronouns are still important

If your transsexual friend or relative asks you to use a certain set of pronouns and a different name, it is respectful to do so. Likewise, it is very hurtful to continue to use the ‘old’ set and the ‘old’ name, even if it doesn’t seem that way. Understandably, the change can take some time; the effort is usually much appreciated. Usually, it is seen as better to simply correct a slip of the tongue and move on in the sentence, rather than stopping to apologise (and therefore drawing attention to it).

See also

The following articles may be of use in explaining concepts in this article in more detail.

  • Gender identity
  • Gender identity disorder
  • Transsexuality
  • List of transgender-related topics
  • Trans 101