A lot of cisgender people think that transgender people want to be complimented, well who does not really? I am not saying that trans people do not want to be complimented, but there are just compliments that are too much, and ever overrated for trans people, because simply it is not right anymore. These supposed compliments are actually not compliments anymore, but rather seem to be a hidden criticism. Here are 3 major unwanted compliments that are eardrum breaking for trans people.
1. You really look like a cis person
Many of you might think that this is a really sweet compliment, but for most trans people it is not a good compliment at all. The statement itself seem to have an underlying message that trans people are less of a cisgender man or woman. Though most cis people won’t really think of this hidden message obviously because they do not know how it feels to be a transgender man/woman. Let us try flipping the coin and give the compliment to cis people and say, “you really look like a trans person”. How do you think a cis person would feel? So now you’ll be sensitive next time, and compliment by saying you look great!
So to all of you saying this compliment we say this!
2. I could not tell that you are trans
This compliment is totally unnecessary. This statement is shouting cisgender standard beauty as the only beauty acceptable in the society. Does a transgender person really needs to be obvious that she is trans? And if they pass the standard beauty of cisgender people they are acceptable and if they do not pass they should not be accepted in the society? You must be sensitive enough that not all transgender people transition so giving this a statement to a trans person might be offensive.
And let our response be…
3. You look more feminine / masculine that any other real women / man
Is there really a need for someone to be feminine in order to be a woman, or masculine in order to be called a man? This is basically what the compliment is about, the degree of femininity or masculinity in order to be called real woman or real man. And another thing is, the “real” word, what does that even mean? Are you trying to say that the identity of a trans person is not “real”?
Here’s what we say:
We are not trying to give you rules of what to do and not to do, but at least we hope we can show you how to be sensitive enough in giving compliments. If you are not sure of your compliment, then don’t say it, but if you truly mean it as a compliment then mean it by simply telling the person that it is a compliment and ask if she is offended. Some trans people are okay with these compliments but there are also trans people who are uncomfortable with them. So the next time you make compliment be extra sensitive or compliment like you would compliment a cis person. Chow!