Being a supportive and understanding ally to transgender people is crucial in promoting inclusivity and acceptance. Educating yourself about trans issues and adopting respectful behaviours can make a significant difference in creating a more inclusive and welcoming world for everyone.  

Trans people face some of the harshest health and social inequalities that exist in society. Particularly around mental health and suicide. Trans people right now are dealing with social issues where their identity, existence and rights are being held up for debate. We here at LGBT HERO understand what trans people are going through right now and will stand side by side with them. The hysteria in the media and online is very similar to what gay and lesbian people went through in the 70s, 80s and early 1990s. This is why every cisgender person should want to stand with our trans friends and family. This is where being an ally is important. But we understand being an ally can be difficult, you might not know what to say or do. You may struggle and sometimes get things wrong. This is OK, if you are trying is all that matters.  

Here is the LGBT HERO guide to being a better trans ally. 

1) Listen and learn

    If you want to be a good ally to trans people but don’t know many in real life there’s things you can do. Take the initiative, broaden your horizons and learn about transgender people’s experiences, and challenges. Learning the health and social inequalities they face will help you better empathise with their day-to-day challenges. Listen directly to trans people talk about their lives. Here’s some reading, watching and listening you can do: 


    Listen: What The Trans?! podcast

    Read: Transgender: back to basics

    Read: Gender inclusive language

    2) Use correct terminology

    Using the correct pronouns is a good way to be a better trans ally. By using people’s pronouns shows respect and tells others you are a person they can be themselves around. Though we know sometimes it’s difficult to get it right all the time. Don’t ever be afraid to ask someone their pronouns or lead by example and when introducing yourself mention your pronouns. And there’s things you can do outside of social situations such as putting your pronouns in your social media profiles, adding them to your email signatures or adding them beside your name in online video meetings. Don’t worry if you mess up sometimes, we all do, what’s important is that you’re trying. 

    3) Listen and validate

    Trans people’s lives are unique and diverse. Not every trans person has the same journey. When a trans person opens up about themselves, their journey or about sensitive items try to actively listen to what they have to say. Try not to make any assumptions about their lives, journey or struggles. If someone tells you about a struggle they are going through, listen, empathise and respond. For example, “I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this right now. Is there anything I can do?” 

    4) Respect privacy and disclosure

    Respect the privacy of transgender people regarding their gender identity and history. Do not pressure them to disclose personal information they are not comfortable sharing. For example, do not ask them their dead name or when they transitioned. Also refrain from asking what medical procedures they may have had or are going to have. Don’t ask anything you wouldn’t want to be asked.  

    5) Challenge transphobia

    Over the last few years we’ve seen an increase in transphobia in our community. Transphobia comes in all shapes and sizes such as being directly targeted at trans people or it might be a joke made within a group of friends. It’s important that we confront transphobia when it arises. When we challenge transphobia, what we’re telling those we confront is that this is not OK and it will help to decrease instances of transphobia.  

    For example, if you hear someone misgendering someone you can politely say that this is not appropriate, if you see someone being a target for transphobia you can go up to them and help them to remove themselves from the scene. Pretend you are their friend or someone they know and escort them away. Stay with them until they feel safe and ask them if you can do anything for them such as call the police.  

    6) Understand intersectionality

    Discrimination comes in all shapes and forms, and this is no different for trans people. They may face discrimination based on various issues of identity, such as race, ethnicity, disability, or socio-economic status such as income, education and employment. Trans people, like any minority group, may be treated differently based on who they are, what they do or where they come from. People may use their trans identity as a way to target them back on a different discrimination. For example, a trans person in a lower paid role may be targeted for using their race and gender identity against them. This means a trans person also has to worry about the issues other minority groups face on top of the issues they deal with being transgender. Try and be empathic as much as you can and learn how you can help. 

    Read: 5 things to know to make your feminism trans-inclusive

    7) Support trans-inclusive policies

    Trans rights are human rights and right now Trans people are facing a battle to protect their rights. If you want to be a better ally it’s important that you advocate for policies that protect the rights and dignity of transgender people. This includes supporting gender-affirming healthcare, legal recognition, and anti-discrimination laws. Certain charities such as Stonewall and LGBT+ Consortium regularly share campaigns and petitions you can get involved with. Think about emailing your MP and ask them to be vocal in their support for trans people.  

    Action: Email your MP

    Social media: thefoxfisher

    Social media: transactionbloc

    Website: TransActual

    8) Learn from mistakes

    We all make mistakes, and when it comes to being an ally for trans people understand that the trans community knows not everyone will get it right 100% of the time. If you make a mistake or unintentionally offend someone, apologise sincerely and learn from the experience. Accepting responsibility and striving to do better are essential in allyship. Trans, non-binary and gender diverse people do not expect people to get it right all the time, they just want you to try.  

    9) Amplify trans voices

    An important thing we can all do is to normalise trans people so the general population are better aware that trans people are nothing to be scared of. Use whatever platform you have to uplift transgender voices and experiences. Share and promote their work, initiatives, and achievements. Trans people are more than just their identity and have talents and skills they regularly show off. Hit that share button.  

    10) Be mindful of microaggressions

    Microaggressions are real and we sometimes do them without thinking. This is because it’s built into all of us from a young age. Be mindful of unintentional microaggressions, which can be harmful. Avoid asking invasive questions or making comments that can undermine a person's gender identity. For example, avoid using abusive descriptions, deadnaming, excessive focus on biological sexual organs ‘have you still got a penis?’ or asking intrusive questions about sex and relationships.  

    11) Attend trans-inclusive events and engage trans media

    The best way you can learn more about trans issues and how to be a better ally is by attending events, workshops and discussions that focus on trans issues. Engaging with the community can deepen your understanding and support. A good thing to do could be to try and encourage your workplace to engage in trans awareness training or get involved with Stonewall's workplace scheme 

    12) Support trans supporting organisations

    Charities and community groups are on the front line in tackling the issues trans people are facing right now - not just rights but supporting those to better their mental health, tackle isolation and loneliness, provide better sexual health, and general health and wellbeing support. Making a donation to a trans inclusive charity or community groups will help us all improve the health, wellbeing and rights of trans people. You can also share or donate directly to crowd fundraisers set up by trans people to cover legal and medical costs. 

    Read: Trans healthcare appeal

    Here are some charities and groups working towards this you can support:

    Remember, being a good ally is an ongoing process. It involves continuous learning, empathy, and open-mindedness. By demonstrating genuine support and respect, you can help create a more inclusive and accepting society for transgender people. We’re all in this together.  

    Want to help to create more trans allies? Share this article.  

    Resources for support -  

    Switchboard helpline/webchat - 

    Spectra Peer mentoring (you can chat with another trans person for 8 sessions and get guidance and support) - 

    Spectra groups - 

    Gender Kit - 

    Gender GP is an online clinic but it also has lots of information - 

    Trans unite is a data base of trans groups -