LGBT, mtf

Friends question and answer – Transgender edition.

So i have asked 4 of my friends to take part in this. The friends who are taking part are Shannon Crighton, KIrsten Mulgrew, Georgia Powell and Alice Philpott. All of my friends are from different parts of the UK and have said they are okay to being involved! *Non of them are transgender*. I asked them all the same questions and they all replied honestly and here are the questions and the answers i had been given:

1) Before meeting me did you know what being transgender meant?

Shannon: Not really! I knew of the word but had never really paid much attention to it or researched into it. So when I met you, I started to learn a lot more about it.

Kirsten: I had some idea what it was but wasn’t 100% sure.

Georgia: Yes.

Alice: No, I had to ask you.

2) What does being transgender mean? – put this into your own words!

Shannon: Transgender is when someone feels they are in the wrong body and are not the gender they were assigned at birth – for example a boy in a girls body, or a girl in a boys body.

Kirsten: I think it means, when you are not comfortable in the body you are in & you know that you aren’t supposed to be this gender.

Georgia: Transgender is when a person feels and knows they have been born in the wrong body (i.e. a person born as one gender may feel they are trapped in the wrong body and feel they should be the opposite gender).

Alice: When your sexy bits are the opposite of what you feel on the inside.

3) Do you think there is still an issue surrounding transgender hate?

Shannon: Yes! There is so much hatred towards lgbtqia+ people and its so unfair as they don’t deserve any hate! It needs to be stopped.

Kirsten: yes, there are so many people who hate and discriminate because of people who are transgender/gay/lesbian.

Georgia: Yes.

Alice: I’m not sure if it’s “hate” as such or just a misunderstanding of what it means to be transgender.

4) How did you react when you found out i was transgender? (Answer honestly)

Shannon: I was completely fine with it. To be perfectly honest, I would never have guessed you were transgender when we first started speaking. It doesn’t bother me or make me feel uncomfortable at all.

Kirsten: well, seeing i was the first person, i felt special that you chose to tell me first but also i was proud as it must have taken a lot of courage to tell me this even over facetime!!

Georgia: I just still looked at you as my friend. I also thought you must be a really brave person for being who you are. I don’t really see you as your gender but more for who you are (your personality, etc).

Alice: You introduced yourself to me as Alex, I wasn’t aware that you were born female until you told me. It honestly didn’t bother me at all, you were nice to me so i wanted to be nice back. Now you’re one of my closest friends.

5) If you ever came across a transphobic person what would you say to them?

Shannon: I’d probably try to educate them on being transgender rather than get angry at them, but it would probably really annoy me. I’ve come across a lot of transphobic people before and its very annoying when they slag off transgenders and think that they’re right.

Kirsten: I would be like ‘hey man, that ain’t cool’.

Georgia: I’d tell them to stop being so narrow-minded because not everyone should be exactly the same, everyone is unique in their own way and should be free to be who they are without being labelled or judged.

Alice: Grow up and educate yourself. People are people, just be nice to everyone!

6) Why do you think the Transgender suicide/murder rate is so high?

Shannon: Because the world is not accepting enough at the moment and some transgender people feel they have nobody to turn to.

Kirsten: People do not like change and they don’t like people who are ‘different’ from them.

Georgia: Because not enough education is provided on transgender issues and this causes people to grow up without an understanding and tolerance towards it. I also think society’s opinions also affect how people treat those who are transgender as many do not try to understand and accept it.

Alice: I think it’s the fear of the unknown that we, as humans, hold. The person transitioning is probably scared of the way people are going to react or in some cases are scared of whats going on in their head in general – the fear causing them to sadly take their own lives.

7) Do you ever think the transgender community will ever be fully accepted?

Shannon: Yes!

Kirsten: Hopefully one day in the near future people with be able to accept one another.

Georgia: Depends on whether society can begin to teach others that issues like these should be accepted and not frowned upon.

Alice: I think that i can be! Of course it will! It’s 2015 for goodness sake!

8) Do you think social media plays a role in transgender hate?

Shannon: Yes definitely, as many people feel they are ‘anonymous’ online, they think no one will be offended or hurt by their transphobic remarks and no one will know who they are.

Kirsten:This is a hard one as there is a very diverse opinion on social media regarding this topic & I feel it could go either way.

Georgia: I think it depends on what type of social media as I think there are more tv shows and articles in magazines, etc. that raise awareness of transgender issues than there were probably a few years ago. However I also believe that social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. do provide an easy access for people to pass judgement on these issues either anonymously or hidden behind a screen.

Alice: I think that social media makes it easier for the not-so-pleasant among us to target their victims more easily. But i would say that’s more “hate” in general rather than specifically “hate” towards the transgender community.

9) How would you react if you found out someone close to you was transgender?

Shannon: I would be absolutely fine with it and would try to help them as much as i could.

Kirsten: Well one of my bestest friends ever who stole my name at birth is trangender & I’ve never been more proud of him.

Georgia: I would support them 100% as I would want to try to make them being who they are as easy as possible so they can be happy

Alice: Honestly, I don’t care. If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice back :).

10) Do you accept me as a person, regardless of my gender?

Shannon: Yes!

Kirsten: I don’t feel gender should get in the way of what you think of someone’s personality.

Georgia: Yes, of course!

Alice: Duh, you’re one of my closest friends!

11) Do you think more education is needed?

Shannon: Definitely! I learned more about being transgender from you and from the internet more than what I ever learned at school!

Kirsten: I think it’s the older generation that needs to be educated on this as the seem to judge trangender people more than the younger generation.

Georgia: Definitely, I believe that if we can educate the next generation it is the first step to dealing with issues of transphobia and many similar issues too.

Alice: DEFINITELY YES! I was 16 when i first spoke to you and i had no idea what transgender meant!

12) Should LGBT issues be a part of education in schools?

Shannon: Definitely! so many kids are uneducated about LGBT+ issues and can get in a lot of trouble for saying the wrong things which could be taken as offensive. They also need to learn more about LGBT in case they are struggling with their own sexuality.

Kirsten: I feel expectance should be taught in school.

Georgia: Definitely, I believe that if we can educate the next generation it is the first step to dealing with issues of transphobia and many similar issues too.

Alice: YES! In school, i was told there was only three choices – homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual. A complete lack of other possibilities!

13) Do you think all professionals should be taught on different gender identities and how to tackle it if they ever come across a transgender person?

Shannon: Definitely! Being openly transgender is so much more common nowadays and people need to understand how it works so that they don’t make mistakes and offend people.

Kirsten: Yes as I feel teachers especially don’t understand the struggle transgender teens face.

Georgia: Yes, because it will make that person’s life just that little bit easier if someone understands the situation and sees them for who they are, not their gender.

Alice: I think if they’re really “professional” they would treat you with whatever pronouns you prefer.

14) Lastly, if there is anybody reading this blog post and they are too scared to come out as transgender, What advice would you give them?

Shannon: Just do it! It might sound scary but honestly, it will lift so much weight off your shoulders and your family should be very accepting. If they’re not, that is okay because they will slowly get used to it and you can help educate them. If you’re really worried about it, come out to a few friends and then slowly build it up to your family. You’ll be okay.

Kirsten: Don’t be afraid, always be proud of who you are

Georgia: Honestly just do what makes you happy because there will ALWAYS be one person you will find that will support you throughout everything. It’s not up to other people to decide who you are it is up to you and being transgender is a tiny part of who you are not all of who you are. And there is always going to be someone that will be narrow-minded and not understand but it up to them to learn to deal and educate themselves if they haven’t already been educated.

Alice: I think that each day you should complete a task that requires 10 seconds of bravery. Challenge yourself. So if that 10 seconds for you is telling your parents you’re transgender then it may well be the most daunting 10 seconds of your life but people will always love you regardless. And never forget that.

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