From your TV screen to political podiums, transgender people have never been more visible in society. That being said, trans people still face interactions every day that are uncomfortable, to say the least. If you meet a trans person, below are just a few of the questions you shouldn’t ask them.  

1. “Have you had ‘the surgery?’”

Whether or not someone has surgery, takes hormones, or does anything else to physically change their appearance is no one’s business but their own.

2. “Can I keep calling you by your old name? It’s just what I’m used too.”

No. A person’s name and the pronouns they go by are incredibly important. Even if it feels strange at first, try your hardest to refer to someone by their preferred name and pronouns.

3. “What’s your real name?”

If you just met a trans person, the name they ask you to call them by is their real name. While some people are comfortable talking about it, others find that asking about the name they were given at birth is a painful reminder of life before they transitioned.

4. “How do you and your boy/girlfriend have sex?”

If you’re not the one having sex with that person, it’s really never okay to ask someone how they have sex. Period.

5. “When did you become trans?”

Trans people don’t wake up one day and decide to be transgender. Studies show that children as young as 5 years old have reported feeling transgender. A more appropriate question to ask, if you’re close to the person and they want to talk about their transition, is “when did you decide to transition?”

6. “Do you think you’ll ever go back?”

Again, this question implies that the decision to be transgender was one that someone made suddenly or at a whim. In reality, most trans people spend years feeling as though they’re living in the wrong body before transitioning, meaning there’s very little likelihood of them ever “going back.”

For more information on transgender health, call CIRCLE Care Center at (203)852-9525.