trans, support, advocacy, trans advocacy, allies, social justice, preferred names
Dawn: So, she started the school year with her new name, we had a case conference at the school, I think maybe about ten days after school started. Because the kids see a psychologist in the community who has become a very good ally, and she didn’t have a lot of knowledge about this area when we started seeing her. But like, she has really done the work to educate herself, but also just to listen to the kids. Which is I think what a lot of people don’t do. People sometimes get caught up in “I can’t support this person because I don’t know about this, or I don’t know anything about trans people so I’m not going to help.” But it’s not really that complicated, it’s actually really very simple. You just have to listen to somebody and then treat them with respect. It’s not like you need a special education course. And I think that’s just an excuse that people use not to be accountable like “Oh I don’t really have enough education in this area so I’m not going to do anything, because I might do something wrong.”
But, doing nothing is worse in a way, than just like, believing people. It’s pretty, I dunno, to me, it seems pretty straight forward. But, my background is in social work, and I work at an organization that supports abused women, so the concept of listening and believing is already something that is part of my life, and it’s more of a social justice organization. But still it’s not like I got a manual in the mail that said “How’re you going to raise your trans kid?” It was just like this happened, and I didn’t raise this child in a gender-neutral way. Like they were pretty much stereotypically dressed in boys' clothes and put into boys’ things, like all the way along. It never even would have necessarily crossed my mind, though I did, I wasn’t 100% surprised, but it wasn't... nobody gives anyone a manual. So, I think saying “I don’t know about this” is not an excuse. You can educate yourself, it’s not that hard.