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How can I be supportive of transgender family members, friends, or significant others?

Read books, attend conferences, and interact with transgender specialists to learn more about transgender topics. Be conscious of your feelings toward those who have a gender-nonconforming look or conduct. Understand that transgender persons belong to a variety of sociocultural identification groups (e.g., race, socioeconomic class, religion, age, handicap, and so on), and that there is no universal way to appear or be transgender. If in doubt, ask. Use names and pronouns that are suitable for the person's gender presentation and identity.

Make no assumptions about a transgender person's sexual orientation, desire for hormone or medical therapy, or other parts of their identity or transition plans. If you have a reason to know (for example, if you're a doctor performing a routine physical checkup or if you're interested in dating someone you've discovered is transgender), ask. Gender nonconformity is not the same as being transgender. Not everyone who seems androgynous or gender nonconforming is transgender or wants gender affirmation treatment.

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