Trans*/Gender 101

Opening up to transgender terms and realities moves everyone forward

Kaci, from LOGO TV's TransGeneration
Kaci, from LOGO TV's TransGeneration (by Logo TV)

Open-heartedness is the best arrow in the quiver in the fight against ignorance. Ignorance may seem to come from the outside, but within the LGBTQ community, there is still work to do. The queer rainbow is more than the sum of its basic colors, and in order to fully appreciate the spectral grandeur of our community, we must continue to educate ourselves.

Even we flub, and it's important to take valuable lessons and teachable moments when offered, especially regarding the dangers of making assumptions about our transgender friends.

Here is a list we've compiled:

Transgender Glossary of Terms (GLAAD) Includes transgender-specific terminology, and problematic/defamatory terms, as well as names, pronoun usage, and descriptions.

Transgender FAQ (HRC) Answers about sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transitioning, FTM, MTF, and other frequently asked questions.

Tips for Allies of Transgender People (GLAAD) An introductory list of things to do to support our transgender brothers and sisters, as well as things to avoid.

Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (National Center for Transgender Equality) A study on the societal/institutional discrimination transgender people face regarding education, employment, housing, public restrooms, healthcare, and law enforcement.

TransGeneration (Logo TV) A documentary series that looks at the lives of four transgender students, as they try to balance the social, psychological, and medical challenges of being transgendered college students.

52 Things You Can Do for Transgender Equality (National Center for Transgender Equality) A list of things you can do to help move transgender equality forward, from the personal to the political.


If you're looking for something a little more immediate and intimate, consider taking a short roadtrip to attend the opening reception of "Pioneering Voices: Portraits of Transgender People," at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio, Saturday, January 25, 3-6pm in Fellowship Hall. The same group is hosting a screening of TRANS, an indie documentary, Sunday, January 26, 1-3pm.

Closer to home, there's the fourth installment of the TGQ Social, a gender-diverse gathering of transgender and genderqueer folk, their advocates/allies, and people of all gender identities and expressions. The event takes place Saturday, February 8, 6-9pm. at Spiderhouse Ballroom.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Transgender
Federal Judge Blocks Obama's Transgender Guidelines
Federal Judge Blocks Obama's Transgender Guidelines
Ft. Worth judge says "status quo" in place for now

Mary Tuma, Aug. 22, 2016

Shout <i>OUT</i>: Georgeanne Freeman
Shout OUT: Georgeanne Freeman
These are the people in our gayborhood: Transitional support

Blake McCoy, Jan. 23, 2015

More by Lawrence Everett Forbes
StartOut's Hack Attack
StartOut's Hack Attack
Nonprofit brings LGBT tech-lovers together to innovate

Feb. 11, 2014

Going 'All Out' for Sochi
Going 'All Out' for Sochi
Corporate actions still speak louder than words

Feb. 5, 2014


LGBT, transgender, education, glossary, ignorance, trans, LGBTQ

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle