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Association Transgenre Wallonie
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Who are we if we can't be ourselves ?

Respect transgender people

How to Respect a Transgender Person

If the topics concerning gays, lesbians and bisexuals are sometimes full of clichés or approximations, what about those concerning trans people! These questions are often confused with homosexuality and their journalistic treatment is generally limited to sensationalism ('When Gaston becomes Daisy' with the inevitable before/after photos in support). In recent years, trans people have gained greater visibility. Unfortunately, it has often come at the cost of poor mastery of terms, among other problems.

In addition to being potentially hurtful for trans people, journalistic treatment often contributes to making the real difficulties invisible: precariousness, high HIV prevalence rate, psychiatrization, 'the obstacle course' to begin a transition in public hospitals, difficulty in obtain papers in line with their lived gender... Not to mention that trans people are also the regular victims of serious attacks without any media really being moved by the frequency of the barbarism of this violence.

So how to behave towards a transgender person and how to address them, without becoming indiscreet, in order to respect them in their gender and their personality ?

Some tips



Ask her what she wants to be called and respect her self-identified gender identity.

Use gender-appropriate language.

Choose the right words : use the right first name and the correct pronouns. Match qualifiers according to this gender.





In other words "forget it"

Sophie Labelle - Cartoonist

"Assignée garçon"

Avoid binary and stereotypical descriptions : the body of transgender people is not bad.

They don't dress up. Their sexual orientation has nothing to do with their gender identity.

Do not fetishize his career.


Give priority to the testimonials of the people concerned.

When talking about an event in her past avoid referring to the gender she was living in at that time in her life.

Don't assume you know what the person has been through or is still going through.

Use the correct vocabulary: the terms "gender identity", "transsexuality"

and many others are to be avoided. Understand the difference between

gender identity and sexuality.

Don't be afraid to ask questions as long as they are not intrusive.

Do not ask personal questions about surgical procedures or family relationships.

Respect the transgender person's right to privacy.

Never reveal their gender identity without their consent.



Don't change your behavior in front of a trans person.

She will certainly appreciate the extra attention you give her,

but not that you overdo it.


A person who begins to identify with a gender different from

the one assigned at birth goes through a rather difficult phase.

Be patient and understanding.

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