Christmas tips for friends and family of a transgender individual.

Here we are in the final month of the year, and that can only mean that Christmas is around the corner. Just like Thanksgiving, friends and family gather together to celebrate the holiday with dinner and the exchange of gifts. That’s good and all, but where does that leave your other friend, daughter, son, nephew, niece, brother, sister, granddaughter, or grandson. You know the one that is transgender and maybe just came out within the past year. What do you do, how do you handle that situation. The answer is quite simple, and I am here to help guide you this holiday season, so that everyone can enjoy the holidays.

One of the first question that probably enter your mind are “will that person come to the Christmas gathering”? Typical question that could be asked about anyone, but the tone is different when about a transgender person. The answer is that it should not matter, be prepared for them to show as you would anyone else. If you still feel comfortable knowing, then just ask who is in charge of the guest list.

The next thing that you’ll most likely ask yourself is “what do I call them”? Now this is a great question. The answer may seem both simple and complicated. Ask yourself what gender they are transitioning to. If they are a transgender woman, meaning that they are transitioning into a woman, then you need to address them with the pronouns associated with the female gender. If they are a transgender man, then you need to use male gender pronouns. This also applies to their name as well, because there is nothing more demeaning than calling someone by their dead name. If all of this is still confusing you, then address the individual with neutral pronouns such as “they or them”. Yes, I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but doing this will allow you to be respectful, as well as allowing the person to correct you.

When it comes to gifts, you can make this simple or complicated. If you are accepting of the person, then it is simple, give them something that corresponds to their gender. They will appreciate it so much, especially if it is the first gift they receive like that. I remember the first gift I got that corresponded with my gender, It was a tunic top with bell sleeves. Even though It is too big for me now, I still have it, and the kicker is that my mother gave it to me. If you are having difficulties understanding everything, then gift something neutral. For example, a gift card, something for their house or bedroom, something for the car, and cash always works. The one thing that you do not want to do is give them something that corresponds to the dead gender, meaning the one that you are use to seeing.

Remember, we are all human, and live in this world together. So lets make the world a peaceful place to live, and treat each other with the same respect that we would want. If you need help with understanding a transgender person in your life, please feel free to comment, or send an email. I would be more than happy to help.

-Adeline

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