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 :)
Did you find this post helpful?
November 6th, 2018 5:59pm
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.
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!
Related Questions: 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”