1. “I can’t be homophobic! I have a gay friend/brother/uncle!”
Remember, Rick Santorum’s press secretary in the early-2000s was gay. Would you say this makes him “not a homophobe” as well?
2. “I don’t really identify with the word ‘cisgender.'”
But, um, you are. I might not go around announcing myself as “Parker Molloy, transgender woman, homosapien, American, resident of Earth,” but those are all true statements. If someone said, “raise your hand if you live on Earth,” I’d raise said hand.
3. Comparing “oppression” they’ve faced by identifying as an ally to the life experiences of someone who is gay or trans.
Please don’t do this. We all have different privileges. Acknowledge them. That one time some guy called you a name for saying you supported LGBT folks doesn’t compare to the actual oppression that LGBT individuals face (increased levels of unemployment, poverty, murder, assault, housing and employment discrimination).
4. “Gay privilege” and/or “trans privilege”
I’m not sure what society you’ve been living in, but these aren’t things. There has never been a time in my life where being trans vs. being cis has led to an improved outcome.
5. “I wish I could fight for equality with them, instead of next to them. I wish there was an ‘S’ for ‘Straight’ in the acronym.” (Yes, people say this.)
Rather than “fighting with us,” how about you just try to help out as needed? This means not drowning out LGBT voices. You don’t have to be “part of the fight” to make a difference.
6. Misgendering people they dislike.
I know that Ann Coulter is a no-good, very-bad, terrible, awful person. Still, calling her a “man” or a “tr*nny” is transmisogynistic. (P.S. this applies to LGB folks who do this as well, like Dan Savage, who called Rob McKenna, a cis man, trans.)
7. “Discrimination doesn’t happen that much when you’re looking for jobs, if it did, everyone would be getting sued!”
Care to back that one up with some facts? No? Well, I’ve got some. Enjoy.
8. “Yeah? Well, I identify as a toaster, but that doesn’t actually make me one!”
Get out before I plug you into the wall, toaster boy.
9. “But I didn’t misgender you, because you are still biologically a boy.”
*shakes with rage*
10. “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”
Aw, that’s cute. What a nice little way of both condemning my life. You might as well say, “I’ll be nice to you here, but after all, we both know you’re going to burn in hell for all eternity, right?”
11. [Invasive questions about my genitals.]
This happens way too often. Think about how often you ask your cisgender friends about their genitals. Think about how often they ask about yours. That would be pretty inappropriate of them, right? What makes you think I’m the exception to that rule?
12. Using terms: “f*g hag,” “lesbro,” “beard,” “purse.”
If you don’t see what’s wrong with these terms, there is seriously a problem.
13. “Lesbians are hot because they’re forever virgins.”
I’m sure all the lesbians I know would disagree with you on that one.
14. “You should jump at the chance to educate people!”
I’m not a walking encyclopedia of queerness. There’s this awesome website called Google. Get to know it.
15. Use of the phrases “Heterophobia” and “Cisphobia”
There is no institutionalized oppression against hetero- or cis- people, thus, there is no such thing as “heterophobia” or “cisphobia.”
16. Unsolicited opinions on how well I pass/”You don’t look trans!”
Ah, I see what you did there. You gave me a compliment (thank you) while still letting me know that you have a very specific idea of what a trans person looks like. Also, saying that I’m “passing” as a woman is suggesting that I’m tricking people. Nope. I am a woman.
17. “But (Arrested Development/How I Met Your Mother/South Park/Family Guy/It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia/SNL) makes fun of everyone! You can’t be so sensitive.”
There’s a difference between making a joke about a government, a company, a large organization, a religion; and making fun of people for being gay or trans. What’s the difference? You can move, you can work for a different company, you can change religions. I can’t just not be trans.
18. Brushing off my discomfort with gendered terms like “bro,” “guys” and “dudes” as being hypersensitive.
To my guy friends: if you do this, I will start referring to you as “sweetie” and “princess.” You’ll notice that it gets pretty annoying after a bit.
19. “I long for a day where feminine boys don’t feel like they have to transition in order to feel accepted.”
Ah yes, the ally’s way of saying, “trans women are really just hyper-feminine men” (and vice versa). I’m not a “hyper-feminine man,” and even in a world where the most feminine of boys was accepted with open arms, that still wouldn’t be a role I could play.