How can I show my support to my trans friends? Emotionally? I am very supportive of them, however I know that they are going through a a lot, but I want to off more than “love you” or “I’m here”
Last Updated: 11/10/2020 at 2:27am
Hannah Caradonna, MSW, RCSW (RCC #11330)
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Top Rated Answers
Just let them know that you got their back anytime. Always remind them about how you care for them, give them messages reminding how amazing and strong they are. Give them emotional and mental support as they face their everyday struggles and for sure that is enough. Ask them to pray with you, surrender everything to the Lord and trust his plans. Being andnstaying with your friends especially through bad times is more than enough to show your sincerity and support to them. A simple text or messages will make them feel better as they know they have a friend like you whom will stay even things are not happening good for them.
Hi! First, I just want to say that I am glad you are trying your best to support your transgender friends. I am a transgender person and support from friends like you can be very powerful. Depending on the topic (such as pronouns, coming-out, home life, bullying, school, etc.) you can do different things. A good way to offer support is simply asking, "do you need any support from my right now and how can I best support you?". Depending on your friend's situation and what you topic you are supporting them with, you may offer gestures such as helping them look for trans-friendly resources on transitioning, coming-out, name-changes, and so on. You may also offer to help them by doing things like accompanying them to the restroom if they want a friend and don't want to go in alone. The best thing is to let them take the lead and to check-in and see what they feel they most need in the moment, in terms of support from you. Thank you again for being supportive of your trans friends!
That's clear you want to be there for your trans friends and want to support them. My question would be : do they need and/or ask for it ? Every trans person doesn't necessarily need "emotional support" from their friends, and sometimes it can just be overwhelming to deal with over protective friends. I guess the best way to be sure is to ask them what they need and what you could do to help. And just let them know you're here for them and can hear them if needed. That's all. This way you don't force yourself on them, but you let them in control : they will know you're here if they need you, and they'll decide whether they want to go to you or not. And maybe they won't, but that's their decision and theirs only :) Most of the time, just knowing you have support is enough. And unless they specifically told you they were going through a lot, you can't assume that :) Maybe they're perfectly fine.. Trans people are not always nor necessarily sad, depressed etc. If you want to be an ally not only for your friends but for the trans community, then maybe you can ask around what you can do. An ally's "job" is mostly to - share the voice of trans people (not speak for them, because it's a way of silencing trans people, but broadcast their own voice and social demands) - advocating for trans rights and again transphobia (also by quoting what trans people claim and ask, sharing trans people's articles / work / videos etc) - reporting it when you witness transphobia, for instance by explaining why jokes about trans people are oppressive and not funny, raising awareness about inclusivity (by involvinging trans people, that's important : being an ally isn't enough to understand fully what's at stake and can result in more harm than good) - giving financial or human support to trans communities... ... But yeah : ask your friends if they need support or just tell them you're here if needed, don't assume they need support, that's quite offensive (because it induces that being trans means automatically suffering and that's NOT true) and just be their friends like you would be with any other friends.... "Special treatment" like overcaring and all will only tell them that they're "different" in your eyes, and that's not always what they want. Also, respect the fact that they may need support from other sources than yourself. They may rather get support from other trans people, in not-mixted places and well. It doesn't mean you don't have your place in their heart, and what you do may already be enough for them :)
You can show your support for your trans friends by simply being there and asking them how they’re feeling on a daily basis. It’s the little things that show that you care because they could be going through a lot like gender dysphoria, unsupportive friends/family, and many other feelings that they have pent up inside. Me personally, I’m not trans but I have plenty of friends that fall in that spectrum and talking to them on an almost daily basis about how they’re feeling in regards to those things helps them a significant amount. I hope this helps you!
Your presence and support already means a lot to them, more than you think. Maybe you can encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings more, if you feel like they're holding themselves back in order not to overload you with their issues. Of course, they don't have to share if they don't want to, but if they're just worried about overloading you, you can encourage them to share things by asking how they feel about this or that thing, ensuring them you'd like to know more and be a part of this. You can express your will to be the one they come to when they're feeling down or going through something though. But you seem an amazing friend, I bet they already feel and appreciate your support!
All you can do is be there for them. Coming out as transgender can be a very difficult journey but for the most part it has to be something they do on their own. Make sure you’re open and willing to talk when they need it. Don’t try to give lots of advice especially if you’re uneducated on that topic, even if it’s just because you’re cis. There are a lot of challenges that they will have to face that a cis person never will have to. Make sure you’re validating their identity ex. always using the right pronouns (except in situations where they tell you not to), not using a dead name, etc.
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