March 28, 2011

Anonymous Posts (3.21.11-3.27.11)

Every week, we collect anonymous entries sent in using the link on our sidebar and post them all on Monday. We post anything as long as it doesn't contain personal attacks or hate speech. Feel free to submit your thoughts and questions :)

For those of you who missed it, lav ball was Saturday night. And while an unnamed person told me that it might best be described by "messy, juicy, slovenly," I'd like to say that I thought it was just lovely. Former blogger-in-chief, Chris Perry, once again impressed us all with his endless music selection. But the event really wouldn't have been possible without incoming President, Ari Bar-Mashiah [it's really pronounced with a throat-clearing sound at the end of it #I'mJewishIKnowTheseThings] and our Vice President Elect. And, I would have been dancing with myself (Billy Idol style [youtube just informed me Glee also sang this, who knew? [Ed. Note: We all did, Risa. GYLT]]) if it hadn't been for all of you who attended--so thanks to all of you who came out (#GayPunsNeverGetOld) to "The Prom You [or your straight friends] Never Had."

Make sure you didn't miss the other awesome stuff going on this weekend, though, like Duke Women's Basketball reaching the Elite Eight and Duke bringing home two national championships (fencing and diving).

Oh, and Matt's post about getting accepted to Duke (Hi, 2015! We want you!), Megan's post about LGBTQ life in Madrid and Cameron's blog about being introverted ;-)


I don't even go to Duke. But I just found out the most awesome thing today--during the 1960s(?) to the 1980s(? don't really know about time periods) my favorite history professor (who is incredibly important and an indispensable part of the department) was IN A LESBIAN ROCK BAND. I'm gloating in the awesomeness of all the envy of all you blue devil revellers ;-)


This post will engender a harsh response. I'm ok with that, but hope that those offended will try to address this as a genuine question and not a personal criticism of their gender/sexuality/way of life. My understanding of transgender people is that they feel as though they were born in the wrong body. They feel like a man, trapped in a woman's body or vice-versa. We, as a society of largely non-transgendered people, accept (or at least ought to accept) and accommodate transgendered people because it is not harmful to us, is important to them, and is really none of our business in the first place. At its root, being transgender is a denial of one aspect of your biology- your sex. My question is: How would we, as a society, react to someone denying a different aspect of their biology? If a white man insisted that he be referred to, and treated as, black? My question is not "where do we draw the line" because I am not certain that a line should be drawn. But I do wonder about how indulgent I am obligated to be to the peculiarities of others, and how apologetic I should, or should not be for misusing a pronoun.


I only just recently found out about this blog and I thought it'd be a good way to send a message out there to the LGBTQA (how many more letters can we add to this?) student community. I'm a faculty member, I'm 26, I am gay and I am absolutely not in the closet. My colleagues (of all ages) are VERY accepting, some are even LGBTQ themselves and as far as I know, no one has ever been a victim of homophobia and no one has come off as being homophobic in my Department (and it's a pretty big one!). I have a boyfriend, my colleagues ask me about him all the time, I bring him to our events/parties... All this to say that, as far as I know, many many faculty and staff members are open-minded and accepting of LGBT students. I think there's a post on this blog about a student who was a little hesitant to come out to her/his teacher about her/his sexuality and realized it wasn't a big deal at all for the teacher once s/he did. Let's make this clear: as a professor, you cannot discriminate between your students and for many of us (if not all of us) you don't even need this to be a rule for it to be what we obey by everyday in the classroom, in our office and on campus. More and more faculty members and colleagues of mine are taking the Ally training offered by the LGBT center and hopefully more and more "I"m an Ally" stickers will show up on office doors around campus. Another place and person you can turn to if you need to talk and need support and help! So just in case some of you were thinking "what if my professor finds out I'm gay/lesbian/bi/trans?", I'm pretty sure that they'll just tell you "Don't expect a special treatment for being AWESOME!". :-D


What do you guys (especially gay men) think about Modern Family? Particularly the gay couple, Cam and Mitchell? Just curious.


So these past few months have been rough for me. To say the least, I am very confused. I started feeling attracted to some men and I didn't really know what to make of it. I had never been in and still haven't been in a relationship before so this made it all the more confusing. What also made it worse - I had just liked a girl about a month before this all started. Lately, I have felt like I might be gay but have been struggling with being sure of it. It's not being gay that troubles me - I have talked to many people about how I feel and don't care about people knowing or which way I end up - it's not knowing that scares me. I'm not really sure what's gonna make me finally realize. I've been trying to meet more people in the LGBT community. I went to Fab Friday today which was a lot of fun but later on in the day it just made me think more about this dilemma and I just got more upset. I feel like I won't ever be sure unless I go on a date with someone or kiss/hook up with someone (guy or girl). I feel like this situation has taken over my life the past few months and I don't know what to do. And with only ~5 weeks left of the semester, I feel like I won't figure it out by then and then I go home for 3.5 months where I know one gay person and I'll be left to question that entire time. I just don't know what to do with myself regarding this.


For the past year here, I've watched my gay friends build relationships with wonderful people, and I couldn't be happier for them. Granted, when they are people that I am attracted to, it does make me a little upset, but I'm their friend, so I can't say that, especially when I really am happy for them. It's usually more about me being upset and angry at my loneliness than it is about them, and it also boils down to the realization that "I'm not their type." I'm a nerd. I'm an introvert. I'm quiet and generally awkward. I don't have the courage to tell people who I am attracted to that, well I'm attracted to them, for fear of being more awkward, fear of being rejected (again and again), and just overall fear that I'm not "boyfriend-material" for that person. I fear that I am looking in all of the wrong places, yet I do not know where to look for people. I've met people at the Center, but that has not worked. There are a lot of people and friends I know that I have my speculations on whether or not they are gay, but I would never go and ask them out, especially if I find out that they are actually straight in the process, since that would be extremely awkward (haven't experienced that yet, but it's only a matter of time). I have talked with my friends about this issue before, and the typical response from them is, "Don't worry, you will definitely find somebody, you shouldn't worry too much about it now." Thankfully, I have one friend who is able to be a pessimist with me, and she raises the point which I raise as well: "What if I don't find anybody? There are plenty of people who are single after college and for their lifetime. And look at divorce rates. Plenty of people are getting divorced, so did they technically find somebody?" I've only been at the whole dating thing for less than a year, but I see my options dwindle day-by-day around me. I know that I'm very pessimistic right now (which is unfortunate since I tend to be an optimist(-ish) in my daily life), but I pose the question: What if I don't find somebody here at Duke? Or back home? Or in the area? I plan to go to grad school, complete my Ph.D., and start teaching and researching after my years of formal education. I'm probably not going to have time after my undergraduate career to enter the dating pool while I'm in grad school, and by the time I'm done (which I approximate 28-30 years of age), it will be much tougher to find time and people to date. I mean, I barely have time as it is now with my schedule, but I'm definitely willing to make time for the person who I like and want to spend time with in a relationship. I've had the unfortunate pleasure of being disappointed by one of my crushes here, and as more friends find boyfriends, multiple. Personally, I would like to stop this. But how? I ask the community at large, what can I do if there is somebody that I like, I am >90% certain he is gay (certainty on if he, in general, is gay is not 100% for my gaydar), but I have no idea on how to approach? How are you all doing it? I really am curious to know. Is it Facebook, randomly meeting them at parties, or what? I just don't know what I am doing wrong.


Hey community, I wanted to respond to anon. #4 last week (defining identities and bisexuality as an umbrella term) in a way that I knew people would actually read it. So here it is. As recently as a month ago, I would have really agreed with #4. As an identified bisexual, it feels isolating and rejecting when people tell you over and over again that they're attracted to men and women, but they don't identify as bi. It leaves you feeling like "is my sexual identity out of style?" "Am I different from you, or am I missing a memo?" "Why do people at women loving women say that they wouldn't date people like me?". It can put you on a defensive platform, defending the existence of bisexuality constantly. It can also be really isolating to identify as bisexual when so many people are attracted to both sexes, but so few people will identify as bi. I started to think "if only you guys would identify like I do, we could have a community, an identify, and a voice", But that was back when I was attracted to masculine male-sexed individuals and feminine female-sexed individuals. It was much clearer back then. Now as I begin to notice that butch woman on stage or that gender non-conforming person in the corner, (and feel less and less attracted to men, but that's beside the point) I feel like bisexual doesn't cut it anymore. I'm not sure what to call myself, so queer is becoming a nice catch-all. Of course this leaves me feeling like a hypocrite. But maybe it would be nice to use bisexual as an umbrella term, much like transgender is an umbrella term. Or maybe queer is enough of an umbrella term and bisexuality should be included under it. Or maybe we should all just use gay. Anyway, if we could just choose one word to unite us all, maybe we would feel more powerful in numbers and in voice. Then people could and identify under that with their more nuanced terms without worrying about fragmenting our population and isolating certain people. It's just a thought. Anyway, I just wanted to say to anon #4, as a person who thought like you very recently, I can appreciate your frustration. But as I change, I'm beginning to change my mind. That's all. Sincerely, Nicole Dautel



    No seriously. I've had two gay professors while at Duke, and they were the best classes I've had. It seriously makes a difference seeing the accomplishments and impressive professors who are out (read: out in the way you describe out). Or at least tell us your Department. ;D

    This information won't be for my benefit since I'm a senior, but for all the little queerlings looking for more queer-friendly spaces on campus.

  2. #1: Love it!
    #2: I've got to admit, I was bracing myself when you first started your post. Honestly, I'm always accepting of the differences of others. At times I may not understand them and I may not even get to a point where I understand them OVER time. But if one cares about someone even a shred, isn't it necessary to do whatever makes them feel comfortable and safe around you?

    Also, for article's sake:

    I wanted to post peer-reviewed articles, but a quick scan of:
    Should suffice maybe?

    #3: I absolutely love this! Thanks for the show of support and kind words!
    #4:Not gay, but commenting anyway. I like them. They're actually a functional couple and are campy as well. I think that as a heterosexual man, Cam doesn't entirely destroy the character in stereotypes. I had a little of a problem when they weren't really shown as being sexual or even affectionate beings and a little bit also when they would refer to each other as "boyfriends" however, slowly but surely MF is kind of shedding those problems.

    TBC after class...

  3. I completely agree with Summer, #3. Your visibility within your department is wonderful, and I'm so glad that your colleagues are so accepting. But I would argue that your next step is to create a safe space in your classroom for your students - queer or not. It is not enough to tell us that professors are accepting and/or don't discriminate. I know that, many times throughout my time at Duke, I've had to deal with some extremely difficult things related to my sexuality and coming out, which have sometimes affected my course work. But how can I tell professors about that if I need help or an extension, especially if they can't really relate? I don't discount the wonderful Ally network, but we need LGBT professors to be visible too.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. #2: You made me come out of lurk mode to respond. Several things. But I'll address them all quote by quote.

    "We, as a society of largely non-transgendered people, accept (or at least ought to accept) and accommodate transgendered people because it is not harmful to us, is important to them, and is really none of our business in the first place."

    I can't really agree with this line. As optimistic and hopeful I am about this generation, I wouldn't say that society as a whole accommodates transgender people AT ALL. Have you seen the hate crime statistics against trans people? The youth homelessness rate? The suicide rate (which is SIGNIFICANTLY higher than that of our LGB brothers and sisters?) Don't EVEN get me started on the absolute financial burden that comes with transitioning ( because, less ONE insurance company in this country, the insurance that I pay OH so much for is useless in the matter of transition). The cherry on top of this cake is the continuance of the amount of legalized discrimination that occurs against transgender individuals ( in most states in this country, you can be fired just for being transgender, with no legal repercussions to the corporation you are working for!) I will give certain spaces in society (mainly at universities) the credit and say that they are making strides towards trans acceptance. However, society as a whole being accommodating? Nope.

    "At its root, being transgender is a denial of one aspect of your biology- your sex."

    It's not about the denial of anything. It's more of a realization that the body you are born into and the gender that your brain knows you are, is completely different. There have been studies shown that trans brains are different than our cis-gendered counterparts. Being transgender is about rectifying this gap between your mental gender and the one that is expressed / comes with the sex you are born into. No denial, at all.

    "But I do wonder about how indulgent I am obligated to be to the peculiarities of others, and how apologetic I should, or should not be for misusing a pronoun."

    I guess my response to this would be, is this genuinely an issue with transgender people? I would think this of more as a matter of respect for your fellow human being. Let's say you know that someone prefers to be addressed a certain way to make them feel welcome/ comfortable. Regardless of your biases about how they want to be addressed, is it not a matter of respect for your fellow man, to try at least attempt to address them properly? If your intent is genuine, and you are at least trying to correct yourself in your pronoun usage, though I cannot speak for all transpeople, I would say that my transgender friends (as well as myself) can be incredibly forgiving in these circumstances. However, when you make zero attempt to use the correct pronoun, address us properly, or you just don't shows. For me, addressing someone in a way that they desire ( particularly after I have been corrected) would be more of an acknowledgement of their right to exist as someone who isn't who I think they should be, but as someone who exists as the person they defined themselves to be.

  6. #1: YOU DON'T EVEN GO HERE!!!!

    (j/k, but i couldn't resist).

  7. Xavier: I've thought and read about the issue of what makes people come into the realization that they're transgendered a lot, and as someone who studies and thinks about gender, like, ALL the time, I have a question: why is a body change necessary to feel you're in the correct gender? I'm sure people who are trans have thought about this a lot and have an answer, but it's the one reason I have trouble getting behind other people's transitions.

    As a pretty solid feminist, I believe that you can do whatever gender you want while still inhabiting a female body, and vice versa for men. I don't think of myself as a very feminine woman, but I don't see my body as any restriction or denial of my androgyny/masculinity. I just don't adhere to society's idea of woman=feminine; male=masculine. I can't help but feel sometimes that trans people work counter to feminism and gender studies because to me, they're about doing you no matter what your body looks like (male, female, intersex, fat, thin, blond, athletic, Asian, whatever) and being comfortable living outside of society's idea that what you are dictates who you are. It just seems like being trans is changing what you are so that you can live under the gendered constraints applied to the other sex--rather than tearing down constraints for all sexes by doing whatever the hell you want, thank you very much.

    As I said above, I'm sure that this is something trans people have put a lot of thought into and I'm just not perceiving it right. But if I can't ask it on the blog, where can I, right? For anyone who may think I'm being ignorant or rude, my apologies. But sometimes you have to sound ignorant or rude for a second before you figure it all out. So if you're upset, please help me figure it all out!

  8. #6, PREACH. Seriously.

    If it makes you feel better though, there are a WHOLE lot of us out there who feel the very same way. It's just that very few people have the courage to admit it.

  9. anon 11:28...this is only the beginning of an answer so hopefully someone else will come along and follow up. i think not adhering to the the idea that woman = feminine and male = masculine doesn't relate to being trans in the matter that you describe it. some mtf people are masculine...just as some cisgender women are quite masculine. likewise, some ftm people are feminine...just as some cisgender men are quite feminine. to be clear, i'm not talking about passability here. i'm talking about the performance of gender. meaning this has to do more with the expression of gender rather than gender itself. someone can be male (ftm or cis male) and be feminine. someone can be female (mtf or cis female) and be masculine. after all, what the hell does it mean to be feminine or masculine or to perform gender as a male/female. ...hopefully my explanation didn't get too confusing. just differentiate gender expression from gender identity.

    XAVIER...earlier you mentioned studies showing that trans people having different brains. when i read this comment, it made me think about how advocacy by gay and lesbian organizations frequently resort to "we were born this way". politically this argument is a little weak..."sympathize with us, we aren't trying to be this way, we are just afflicted with this thing and you know the best we can do is live with it. isn't our fault." it seems like the studies you mentioned operate from a similar framework kinda like studies about being gay /lesbian (i have yet to see one about bisexuality) that say it is biological. personally, i dont think it should matter whether sexual orientation (or more broadly sexuality) is a choice...whether sexuality of gender is innate and people are born this way.

    i personally like bdsm. it is a huge aspect of my sexuality and i don't feel like i could change it no matter how hard i tried. regardless, i don't really feel like i was born that way (though some people into bdsm feel like they were). as a result it isn't too hard for me to go beyond that and say i wasn't born gay/queer either. it just happened. i can't change it, but yet i still wasn't really born this way.

    i imagine a similar type of argument can be made about trans people and politics around trans visibility/acceptance etc. do you have to be born trans to deserve the right to self-determination, to live as the gender you want to live as (or the gender that you really are)? perhaps the whole born this way argument with regards to gender gets more complicated once you go beyond transsexual people and get into bigender and genderfluid and genderqueer etc. kinda like born this way gets more complicated when you go beyond gay and lesbian and get into queer, pansexual, and bdsm/fetish/kink. anyway...your thoughts on this topic if you have any? :)

  10. #1: I'M SO CURIOUS. lol, You tease but don't please with this information, anon #1! I avoid history like the plague (sorry, just not my thing) and I doubt my 2 CZ requirements will offer me enough exposure to the history department to ever figure this out. (#1: U mad? Me: YES. lol)

    #3: I'm with Summer on this one. At *least* the department.

    AH, this is like an easter egg hunt. :D

  11. #2 I can see how something you feel is hard biology is difficult to question, but in reality almost nothing is as fixed as it seems. Race, for instance, is now accepted by the scientific community as a cultural/geological construct and not actually rooted in biology/DNA, as is commonly thought. The reason many of us can understand flexibility in these realms, in addition to personally experiencing it, is through engagement with deconstructionist theories and new knowledges that challenge many things people take for granted- like biology, sex, race, sexuality. I'd encourage you to read up on some such things. Whether or not you'll fully agree that they're subjective, you'll at least be more familiar with the arguments. Take some Women's Studies or Sexuality Studies courses, or perhaps Cultural Anthropology and Race/Genomics classes. They will all expose you to literature and scholarship that can validate the seeming 'denial' of biological facts. (I hope I don't/don't mean to sound patronizing. I just know that a lot of people don't expose themselves to these disciplines.)

    Plenty of White people, btw, are treated and act as if they're 'Black,' because they grow up in cultural environments where that's all they know, or what they feel a closer kinship too. It's not as Black and White as it seems (excuse the bad pun).

  12. AMEN anon 11:46! I'm completely on board! We shouldn't always rely on science or 'born this way' to justify ourselves. Where's that (supposedly) classically American respect for individuality and self-determination? Humanism?

    Does it really matter why you are who you are? Are we losing something in trying so hard to explain everything to a T?

    What would happen if we instead try to value each others' differences and simply accept that people will have widely varying lifestyles, identities, sujectivities, and lived realities- whether bio or not and likely way too complicated for anyone to everrrr figure out?

  13. anon 11:28: I think anon 11:46 had a great response (I am definitely really feminine despite being male), but wanted to add my personal experience, though I'm having a little trouble articulating everything.

    I am a staunch feminist so I am pretty much making up my own definition of "being a man." Transitioning has made me realise that no two men do masculinity in the same way. I've always felt gender roles were largely performative/constructed but lately I barely believe that a binary exists at all, based on the enormous variation I see in others' performances; there are way more than two ways to do gender. But I still want to transition, because I'm not a butch woman, I'm a super-femme dude, and when I wander around my life, the mismatch between who I am and how I am read is... painful.

    Which gets into why a physical change is necessary. For me, at least part of it is the fact that without hormones and top surgery pretty much everyone who looks at me is gonna see a butch woman. Which I am not. And it's not a viable option to come out to everyone every time, because sometimes I just want to buy a fucking Pauly dog in peace. I don't want to have people switch from "ma'am" to "sir," I want them never to call me "ma'am" at all. So I want to change my body so that others will see me the way I see myself.

    But of course there is also the fact that this is how I see myself: in a masculine body. I smack my giant-ass man-boobs into shit all the goddamn time, because I just can't quite remember that they're there; I definitely conceive of them as being on top of my chest, rather than being my chest. And-- they're wrong. They need to not be there. I start cursing up a storm when I try to talk about them. It's just-- imagine you suddenly sprouted whichever dangly bits you don't currently have, boobs or a dick*. Why would you leave it there, when you could get rid of it? Some trans dudes actually refer to their man-boobs as tumors. The creepy wrongness is hard to articulate, but this aspect has nothing to do with social gender construction and everything to do with subconscious self-perception.

    *(my vagina is also awful but because it doesn't dangle out where everyone can see it like my tits do, and because the surgical solutions are less complete, I tend to ignore it and my dysphoria ends up being very boob-focused. Your Mileage May Vary.)

    Anyway, in general I feel like you're expressing an idea that's pretty common in feminist thought but also, to my mind, really sad, because if feminists can get behind folks who smash gender so hard that we switch sides, who can we turn to? To me, it's the ultimate is self-determination, that I not only don't have to be feminine when that's not who I am, but I don't have to be a woman. I hesitate to imply that I decided to be trans, but I did decide to respond to my self-perception by radically changing my external appearance, and I think it's a liberating option to have. Seriously, with trans women in the mix, there are pretty much no gender-essentialist statements that can be made about "all women" that can't also be made about men. (All women must breathe oxygen to survive!) And as I feminist, I just find that awesome.

    Oh-- and it just occurred to me, Julia Serrano's book Whipping Girl is an AWESOME book to read for feminists who want to understand trans stuff better. It's more focused on trans women, but it really helped me understand myself. So anyone who is intrigued by this conversation: go check it out from Perkins!

  14. Also, seconding anon 11:46 and chantel l: HELL YES we deserve rights no matter WHAT "makes" us who we are! I don't think it should be necessary to use medical "we just can't help it" reasoning (though I acknowledge that it's often the most successful tactic; not criticizing you, Xavier).

    This is a lot of what rubbed me the wrong way with last week's bisexuality conversation; anon #4 last time seemed to suggest that if we don't all categorize ourselves rigidly into three boxes, that means we're "choosing" our sexualities (a point I already question), and that if we're "choosing" then bigots are right for discriminating against us (a proposition I utterly reject). I deserve fair treatment because I am a human being and that is what "fair" means, and as long as I'm not hurting anyone*, I have the right to do whatever I want with my personal life.

    *("hurting someone" being defined here as "doing something they didn't consent to" to include 11:46's great points about bdsm)

  15. xavier. wasn't meaning to criticize you if it came off that way! just interested in your thoughts.

    from anon 1146

  16. Ditto to what Chantel said. =)

    #3 - Hey Duke Professor! I'm not sure if I've had you before, but I don't think so, I've never had a 26-year old professor. But I've also never had an openly gay professor.

    I have to say that I really, really always look up to my professors and respect them sooo much. They're always my biggest role models who I remember for years and years afterwards (even though they may forget me). I think it would be really great if one of them felt comfortable enough being out in the class. You say you're out to your department, but I wonder if you're out to your class?

    I'm just saying it would be really cool!! It would have a huge impact on me. It might even change someone's life.

    #6 - Wow! First off, thanks for having the courage to post this here, even anonymously. I don't think you're doing anything wrong. Most people I know at Duke are single, so even though it probably feels like you're alone because your relationship status isn't partnered, you're not categorically alone-there are so many of us (HI!!!) single at Duke but that doesn't mean we've enjoyed it any less.

    Also, one of my friends told me once that the most alone she ever felt in her life was in a relationship. So it's not the cure-all either!! As for ideas to go from here, maybe identify someone you like, work up all your confidence, and go for it? And repeat until it works out for you? :D Good luck!!! Remember this community loves you too. Sometimes I think that's gotta be even better.

  17. Hi, Anon 11:45:

    I, too, consider myself a "pretty solid feminist" and am a cisgender girl with a fairly androgynous gender presentation. However, I'd like to respond to this statement, which I think repeats a lot of harmful and pervasive misconceptions about transfolk:

    "It just seems like being trans is changing what you are so that you can live under the gendered constraints applied to the other sex--rather than tearing down constraints for all sexes by doing whatever the hell you want, thank you very much."

    As feminists, we believe that biological sex should not determine a woman's social role, that she does not exist solely to reproduce, and that gender norms socially constructed and culturally variable. Right? Then why should biological sex determine someone's internal sense of gender or their psychological identification with their sexed body?

    I have several trans and genderqueer friends (both male and female-assigned at birth) -- all of them, to my knowledge, consider themselves feminists, and none of them are merely "living under the gender constraints applied to the other sex." In fact, not all trans-identified people choose, or have the means to, to fully transition: some folks just get top surgery, some stop at hormone therapy, some don't take hormones at all.

    Viewing trans-people as a threat unassimilable to cis-society is extremely harmful. The majority of trans-hate crimes are committed against feminine transwomen, demonstrating that our society not only fears transitioning bodies, but fears feminine bodies as well. And while transguys don't receive as much physical abuse, there's certainly a lot of verbal abuse, a lot of times revolving around this idea that they falsely desire and reproduce sexist male power dynamics.

    So, keep tearing down that gender binary, but please remember that all minority struggles are linked, and listening and accepting others' articulations of their identity is the only way equality and liberation can be achieved. I encourage you to try and meet some transpeople, do some reading, or watch some documentaries so you can better understand their issues and stories.