How can I be supportive of transgender family members, friends, or significant others? It's not always easy for partners, family members and friends to deal with the news that someone close to them is trans. However you can be supportive by maintaining and strengthening your relationship with them, if you: Educate yourself about transgender issues by reading books, attending conferences, and consulting with transgender experts. Be aware of your attitudes concerning people with gender-nonconforming appearance or behaviour. Know that transgender people have membership in various sociocultural identity groups (e.g., race, social class, religion, age, disability, etc.) and there is not one universal way to look or be transgender. Use names and pronouns that are appropriate to the person’s gender presentation and identity; if in doubt, ask. Don’t make assumptions about transgender people’s sexual orientation, desire for hormonal or medical treatment, or other aspects of their identity or transition plans. If you have a reason to know (e.g., you are a G.P. conducting a necessary physical exam or you are a person who is interested in dating someone you’ve learned is transgender), ask. Don’t confuse gender nonconformity with being transgender. Not all people who appear androgynous or gender nonconforming identify as transgender or desire gender affirmation treatment. Keep the lines of communication open with the transgender person in your life. Get support in processing your own reactions. It can take some time to adjust to seeing someone you know well transitioning. Having someone close to you transition will be an adjustment and can be challenging, especially for partners, parents, and children. Seek support in dealing with your feelings. You are not alone. Mental health professionals and support groups for family, friends, and significant others of transgender people can be useful resources. Advocate for transgender rights, including social and economic justice and appropriate psychological care.