Five Ways To Be A Trans Ally
By Dean Spade
1. Work with trans people to push your city's homeless shelter system to place residents according to gender identity and safety rather than birth gender. Such policies have already been won in San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C., and are an attainable goal that can save lives. For information about how to get started, visit SRLP.org
2. Establish gender-neutral bathrooms at the places where you work, go to school, shop, eat, or get essential services. Trans and gender-nonconforming people face harassment -- sometimes even arrest -- when using gendered bathrooms. Gender-neutral facilities are also beneficial for parents with kids who are a different gender, people with disabilities whose assistants are of a different gender, and even women who are tired of waiting in line while men's rooms sit empty.
3. Fight for the inclusion of trans health coverage in the employee benefits package at your job, school, or in your state's Medicaid program. For resources, click here.
4. Support a prisoner. Trans people in U.S. prisons face violence and isolation, and something as simple as a pen pal can help enormously with making post-release plans, locating helpful resources, and coping with the stress of incarceration. See BlackAndPink.org to get connected with prisoners seeking support.
5. Donate to trans organizations, which struggle to keep their doors open. Some to consider include TGI Justice Project (TGIJP.org), focusing on trans prisoners; the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP.org), providing free legal help to trans people; the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTEquality.org), working on federal legislative issues; FIERCE! (FierceNYC.org), organizing trans youths of color; and TransJustice (ALP.org), part of the Audre Lorde Project, dedicated to ending racism and transphobia.