Trans Rights are Human Rights

Last updated March 31st, 2023

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I think I might be trans, how can I know?
I have realized that I am trans, what are my next steps?
Someone just came out to me as trans, what should I do?
What can I do to support trans people?

I think I might be trans, how can I know?

Discussing your experience with other people with experience with trans issues is a good starting point. If you are able to find and see a therapist experienced with trans care they can work with you on understanding your experiences and identity. Teletherapy may also be an option, therapists are often only able to practice in the state where they received their license, but some therapists are PSYPACT providers, meaning they can provide care in over 30 states. Make sure to do your research with providers, as not all will be a good fit for you, and with a particularly poor fit they can be actively harmful. The GALAP (Gender Affirming Letter Access Project) is a potential starting point in searching for providers.Outside of therapists, search for trans spaces either online or offline. These will more often than not be open to those questioning their gender identity and be good spaces to share your experiences and get input from others on the same journey. Knowing what experiences others do or do not share is an incredibly important step, in challenging your own assumptions, knowing you are not alone, and building community. These spaces also provide an opportunity to try out different names, pronouns, or other types of expression that is lower stakes than other types of spaces. It can be hard to know what feels right until you actually experience it, so don’t be afraid to try things out and continuously make changes until something clicks for you.You may also want to look into various writings that have been published. The Null HypotheCis is about the idea that we tend to treat being cis as the assumed default (the null hypothesis), and that we are cis unless we can conclusively prove that we are trans. It challenges this assumption, instead reshaping the question as “Based on the evidence that is available, and what my thoughts, behaviours, past and feelings suggest, what is more likely: that I’m trans or that I’m cis?” A second resource is The Gender Dysphoria Bible, which is a living document covering a wide variety of topics, from what gender even is, to the different types and manifestations of dysphoria, to what can happen during transition. While this is not a full replacement for the discussion and seeking community as above, it provides a very thorough overview of many topics related to being trans, and you may find parallels with your own experiences when reading it. There are of course many many more resources available online, but these are two very good ones for conceptualizing your experiences.

I have realized that I am trans, what are my next steps?

No two people will have the same transition, so this section will explore possibilities rather than any prescribed path. There are also many different types of transition, including social, medical, legal, and surgical. Different people will have any number of combinations of these and a wide variety of timelines among them. How you transition does not define your identity, only you do.One of the most important steps you can take early in transition is building a support network. Having people around you to discuss your transition, provide transportation to and from appointments (medical, therapy, support groups, prescription pickup, etc) if you are unable to yourself, financial support if you need it, and more are all very important. The support network can consist of any number of people, including providers, family, friends, coworkers, teachers, etc. Transition can at times be a very difficult process, and we as social animals can not be expected to go through it all alone.Social transition includes changing name, pronouns, how you present yourself through clothing, and more. This can often be done in stages: in private, with a close group of friends, in school but not at home, at home but not at work, etc. There is no obligation to do everything or to come out to everyone at once, but understand that this approach carries with it a risk of being outed. A support network is important here in case the worst happens. When coming out to people early on it may be important to also specifically spell out who else you have told, if the person you just came out to is allowed to tell anyone else on your behalf, and how they should refer to you in different contexts. With clothing or other physical indicators of transition there are several considerations. Buying online, shopping with someone you are out to (potentially you can be shopping “for them” to reduce anxiety), and storing the clothes. If shopping online can you be sure someone you aren’t out to won’t see/open the package first? Can you safely keep the clothes at home, or is it best to store them at a friend’s house or somewhere like a school locker? How can you wash the clothes without a risk of anyone who you aren’t out to seeing them? You may also may need to be cautious about any photos and how they are stored/shared. Choosing a new name is a deeply personal decision, some people choose to use a masculine/feminine variant of their current name, change the name more dramatically but keep the same initials, completely change everything, or even not change their name at all. In addition some people will try out a number of different names before finally settling on one, or use different names in different settings. You are the only person that gets to decide what is right for you.Medical transition covers puberty blockers, HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), and also voice changes depending on interpretation. Puberty blockers are reversible medicine to prevent or stop puberty, used both for precocious (early) puberty and for gender affirming care. When someone stops taking puberty blockers they will either resume puberty as it would have been without the blockers, or if they coincide it with HRT they will start the correct puberty for their gender identity. For those who want it, HRT can be one of the single most important steps in transition. It also takes different forms depending on age, location, and goals. Working with a provider can help determine what is best for you. Oftentimes providers will require letters of support from a therapist, in which case if you do not already have one willing to write a letter then The GALAP (Gender Affirming Letter Access Project) will be a good resource for finding a therapist who will. There is also “informed consent” in which a provider will not require a letter of support, and instead will go over the type of HRT and its potential effects and side effects with you, and then will prescribe based on your understanding and consent of this. If these are not available to you then you may need to look in to DIY HRT, which may have some risks. Due to a lack of experience with this topic I do not know of good references. Another consideration before starting HRT is that while it is not birth control, it is associated with reduced fertility. If this is important to you then seek out fertility treatment/storage before starting HRT. For any voice changes, trans-masculine HRT tends to cause a change in the voice, while trans-feminine HRT does not. In either case, or when not taking HRT at all, professional voice training by a speech therapist or self training using resources such as YouTube videos are options to work towards the voice you want.Legal transition is the process of updating legal name and sex markers on different forms of government IDs, from birth certificates to driver’s licenses and passports. This process will differ wildly between different locations, Lambda Legal has a page with resources for changing various types of documents. Some considerations for updating documents are that an ‘X’ gender marker is not available on all types of documents, some states restrict the number of times a gender marker can be changed, and some require a letter from a doctor or even that you have had surgery before changing the marker. It is also often possible to change a gender marker but not your name on a document in case you are ready for that and not a name change, or you simply aren’t planning on changing your name. There is also a financial cost associated with updating documentation. If this is a barrier to you, Trans Lifeline and other (often more local) organizations provide microgrants to help cover these costs.Surgical transition encompasses several different types of surgery, including mastectomy (removal of breast tissue), hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), orchiectomy (removal of the testicles), vaginoplasty (creation of a vagina), phalloplasty (creation of a penis), facial feminization surgery, and many more. The wait time and preparation for some of these surgeries can be quite long, so depending on what you want it is a good idea to start research and preparation relatively early. In addition to needing to be a legal adult, some surgeries require that you be on HRT or presenting as your gender identity full time for over a year. Make sure to look into all the requirements anywhere that you are considering getting surgery done, as even with established guidelines the exact details of what preparation is needed will differ between providers.Which steps you take when, or at all, is your decision to make. Taken as a whole transitioning can be a very overwhelming process, but you do not need to do everything at once. Figure out what will have the biggest positive impact for you, and start on that. If it is a further off goal, figure out what is needed to reach it and what you can start doing now. In all likelihood your plans will shift with time as you discover more about yourself, your circumstances change, and as the laws and policies surrounding certain parts of transitioning change.

Someone just came out to me as trans, what should I do?

The answer to this question will vary greatly on factors including your relationship with them and how far along they are in their transition. How you support a childhood friend will be different from a coworker or family member. However there is still broad overlap in what you might do.When someone first comes out, keep in mind that coming out is usually very scary, and is a deeply vulnerable step to take. Try to match the energy you get from the person coming out, if you can tell that they are very nervous about coming out then you may want to spend more time with them, reassuring what concerns they may have. If they are not as nervous and are not making a big deal of coming out to you then making it into a big deal with your reaction is more than likely not helpful.A natural instinct when someone comes out is to ask all sorts of questions, from how/when they figured out that they were trans, to what goes into transitioning, to what they are planning to do in particular. For more general questions about what it means to be trans or what goes into a transition, try to do some research yourself (this website is a great place to start!), as trans people are often made into ambassadors for the entire trans population, or encyclopedias for the entire trans experience. This is not a fair expectation to put onto someone just for being trans, especially not when they are early in their own transition and might still have many of these questions themselves. For more personal questions, keep in mind your relationship with this person. Hormone replacement therapy and gender affirming surgeries are medical information just like any other prescription medicine or surgical procedures. If you wouldn’t ask them about other personal medical information, chances are it’s not appropriate to ask questions about their medical and surgical transition plans.It may be helpful to seek out other people with trans people in their lives, especially if the person that just came out to you is a close friend or family member. PFLAG is one such resource, being open both to LGBTQ people and allies, with many local chapters. If you have specific questions you can also contact the Trans Lifeline Family & Friends Hotline.The best way to support someone will vary person to person. Honor the vulnerability in coming out, be respectful, and listen to them about what they need. Needs may vary from basic needs and stability if they have lost that due to transitioning, to support navigating various legal and medical loopholes, to simply still being their friend as you were before they came out.

What can I do to support trans people?

If you personally know trans people and would like to support them the section above lists multiple things you can do. More broadly however there are many ways to support trans people, ranging from the local to national scales.One way to support trans people is through advocacy. At the smallest scale, where you work or go to school, advocate for ways to make the space safer for trans people even if you don’t know any there. Are there any gender neutral restrooms for non-binary people or others early in transition? Does your email/id system require using and displaying your legal name, with no option to use other names? Is it easy to change email/id easily as needed? Changes like these can make a huge impact for trans people, and are generally improvements for everyone, cis or trans. Beyond your own spaces, look for local advocacy and support groups and consider volunteering there. In your interactions with others, be an advocate for trans people, do not force on trans people the full responsibility of defending and advocating for themselves. Call out stereotypes or mean spirited jokes, correct people if they use the wrong name or pronouns, (gently!) educate people who are ignorant or oblivious to trans issues. Patience and understanding go a long way when talking about topics like this.Another way is monetary. Donating to local and national groups can have a huge impact in allowing them to continue their work, or distribute funds to people in need. The donate page is a good place to start looking, but by no means is it an exhaustive list. Donating directly to individuals through GoFundMe or similar is also incredibly impactful, there are regularly people requesting support to pay for medication, surgery, housing, or to escape their current situation, directly giving them the resources to get on their feet can be life saving.A third way is through political involvement. Voting (at all levels!) is the basic form of this, but you can go much further. Research who supports trans rights and support them as early as the primary stage if applicable. Call or mail representatives expressing support for trans rights, or show up to sessions to testify for or against certain measures. This can be an intimidating step to take if you have never done it before, but advocacy groups and the representatives themselves will often be able to point you in the right direction if you reach out to them.These three areas don’t encompass everything, but are great ways to start to support trans people. Ultimately trans people are regular people with many of the same desires and struggles as everyone else, but are faced with additional prejudice and discrimination solely for being trans, even before looking at the intersection of other identities including race, disability, socio-economic class, and more.




Why'd you make this website?

It was made in response to the Trump Administration's removal of protections for trans people in healthcare. It was inspired by the many Black Lives Matters Carrds created in light of the protests against police brutality and systematic injustice following George Floyd's death.

Can I donate to help the site?

If you are interested in making your own Carrd site, using my referral code (7YKP1KK2) or link will help cover the cost of this site's plan.Beyond that, please donate to the places listed in the donations section instead. I am very fortunate to live in a supportive environment and have a stable financial situation. If you want to support keeping the site updated a message letting me know you find it useful would be greatly appreciated, I made this site to help everyone I can.

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Other Carrds

Our struggles are all connected. None of us are free until all of us are free.


All are 24/7 unless otherwise noted

Trans Lifeline

US (877) 565-8860
Canada (877) 330-6366

Crisis Text Line

US and Canada: Text HOME to 741741
UK: Text 85258 | Ireland: Text 50808

Trevor Project

Call 1-866-488-7386
Text START to 678-678

Sage National LGBT Elder Hotline

English and Spanish
Call 877-360-5428

National Sexual Assault Hotline

Connected to local center, may not be 24/7. Go to for online 24/7 help
Call 800-656-4673

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

English: 1-800-273-8255
español: 1-888-628-9454

Thrive Lifeline

For marginalized individuals in STEM
Text THRIVE to 1-313-662-8209

Mermaids UK

Trans youth in the UK up to and including the age of 19
Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm
Call 0808-801-0400

Important Dates

Trans day of Visibility - March 31
Pride Month - June
LGBT History Month - October (US) / February (UK)
National Coming Out Day - October 11
Trans Awareness Week- November 13-19
Trans day of Remembrance - November 20