The Do’s and Dont’s of Trans Allyship

In May and June, we were joined by two panels of gender-diverse professionals and industry leaders to explore best practices in workplace inclusion. We learned that allyship is an ongoing practice of educating oneself, listening to understand the needs of others, and taking action to advocate for those in the community you’re trying to support. However we identify individually, allyship is something that we all must work towards together. Take the next step on your allyship journey with PIOW’s Do’s and Don’ts of Trans Allyship.

“There’s no one right way to be an ally and being an ally should be a verb. You’re taking action.”

Trevor Boylston (he/him)
Learning from Lived Experience Panelist

Allyship Do’s

  • Treat people as they want to be treated.
  • Clarify the names and pronouns that should be used in different professional contexts.
  • Follow the lead of the trans person.
  • Reflect internally on what it means to be an ally.
  • Normalize sharing pronouns in meetings, conversations, and email signatures.
  • Practice allyship authentically and consistently across all spaces.
  • Be brave and speak up in support of trans colleagues.
  • Take proactive steps to create and signal inclusivity.
  • Take action by voting in favor of legislation supporting trans professionals and communities.
  • Leverage corporate responsibility programs to advocate for progressive policies on a larger scale.

Allyship Don’ts

  • Don’t out people without their permission.
  • Don’t assume you know what trans people need.
  • Don’t assume all people have the same transition goals or timelines.
  • Don’t offer suggestions or comment on physical appearances unless your input is requested.
  • Don’t single out coworkers based on gender identity or expression.

We would like to thank Trevor Boylston, Ryan Rasdall, Cheryl Katon, and Irene Brank for sharing their allyship best practices during our recent programming.

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