Opinion » Minerva's Breakdown

"Aweseome Ally"



Dear Minerva,

In my career I work with a lot of transwomen clients. Many start seeing me prior to their transition, and fully transition during the time I'm seeing them for appointments. Do you have any words of wisdom for a cisgender woman to be the best ally possible during this time? We see each other in an intimate setting and often the client is feeling quite vulnerable during this transitional period before they've even told many of their colleagues and acquaintances. I love all of my sisters and want to make sure I contribute as much as possible to the comfort and well being of all in this uncertain world—without overstepping any boundaries.


—Sister In Solidarity

Dear SIS,

Thank you for being such an awesome ally already! What anyone needs is to be around people who are going to listen if they want to talk. One of the most hurtful things one can do is trivialize what transpeople are going through. It's not a joke or a novelty to live authentically. You recognize that your experience with womanhood is different than that of transwomen. Keeping an open dialogue, being mindful of pronouns and names, and listening to what these women are saying is key. Avoid co-opting their experiences as your own. It's difficult to separate yourself from the issues when you're helping so many people transition, but remember that as an ally you are standing with them but you aren't walking in their shoes. Much love!

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