12 10 / 2013




Ways to Ask About Hormones and Surgery Without Being Rude

  • I have a strong desire to transition myself, but thinking about it makes me nervous so I have a hard time doing research online, since you are a friend of mine could you tell me about your experience with transitioning?
  • I’m a doctor working with a trans patient and am woefully underprepared by a cissexist medical training system, would you be willing to share your knowledge with me as a paid consultant?
  • The doctor would like to know what medications you are on and if you’ve had any major surgeries in the past 3 years so that we can make sure it won’t lead to complications with your current medical care.
  • I don’t actually need to know about your experience personally, but since you are the professor in my sexual health course, could incorporate trans experiences of health and sexuality into your curriculum?
  • I happen to have a bunch of quality dialators, binders, gaffs, packers, and breastforms hanging around, if you could use any, let me know.

Wait though… does this mean cis people who aren’t some kind of surgeon/sexual expert aren’t ever allowed to ask their trans/genderqueer friends about their experiences?? Like, curiosity and wanting to understand experiences outside our own is always going to be rude no matter what?

This is far from an exhaustive list.  The point is that you need to have an actual reason.  ”You’re my friend and we’re having a sleepover-style secret sharing moment” is one of many reasons one you might have for asking your friend.

Additionally, do note that the example of the health and sexuality professor was not about you being the expert, but you asking the expert (whether they are cis or trans).  That’s something else to keep in mind. There is more leeway when asking a friend than a person you just met, and there’s more leeway asking an expert in the field than a friend.  Especially asking an expert about hormones and surgery in general rather than their personal experience.

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