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Relating to crossdressers and transgenders

These are questions that non-transgender people often seem to ask about trans folk.

Are you a man or a woman?

My favourite answer used to be simply “Yes.” Lately it’s “No” (think about it).

However, you may find that many T folk will answer with something like “tonight I am a woman,” reflecting how they choose to present themselves and how they wish to be addressed and treated.

He’s wearing a dress. How should I address him? her? whatever?

A simple rule of thumb is to begin by addressing the person as the gender they are presenting. If he’s wearing a dress and attempting to appear feminine, address him as “she”, “ma’am”, “her” etc. If she’s wearing obvious male garb and making an effort to appear male, address her as “sir”, “he” etc. If it’s really unclear or ambiguous, a polite “I’m unsure how I should address you; what would you prefer?” will usually clear things up.

Where do you buy your clothes?

Like everyone, it depends on our budget and our taste. Boutiques for some, thrift stores for others, large-size stores for still others.

Is that your hair?
Unless I’ve borrowed or rented a wig, the answer is always “yes”. Occasionally it’s “yup, bought and paid for.”
Are those real? Have you had the operation?

These questions, and any others relating to surgery, body modification and the like are almost always entirely inappropriate, out of line and rude.

If you’re this person’s doctor or a prospective intimate partner then your discreet and polite questions in an appropriate setting will likely be answered honestly and politely. Almost everyone else should be prepared for a simple “That’s not a question I’m willing to answer.”

Why are you in the women’s washroom?

If we’re presenting as female, it’s hazardous to our health to go in the men’s! Like anyone else, we’re just in the washroom to do what we need to do. Again, some of us may be in transition or even had surgery and it is the appropriate facility for us to use. Please don’t judge us by how convincing our appearance is.


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