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Trans Allies

Allies Main Page

Allies Toolkit


Allies of Trans People

What is an ally?
Generally speaking, an ally is a member of a privileged group who takes a stand against oppression (examples: a white person who speaks out against racism; a straight person who works to end heterosexism/homophobia). An ally works to become part of social change rather than part of oppression.

What is a trans* ally?
A trans* ally is someone who commits to being open-minded and respectful to people who may have different or unconventional gender identities or presentations; who takes the time to learn more about trans* people and trans* lives; who confronts assumptions around gender roles and gender presentation; and who works to change the misunderstanding and mistreatment of trans* people.

I'm already an ally to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.
Aren't I an ally to trans* people by default?

In recent years, "LBGT" has become a widely used term to refer collectively to lesbian, bisexual, gay and trans* people. While there are many commonalities and points of overlap amongst trans* and gay, lesbian, and bisexual peoples, there are many issues, concerns, and experiences that are specific to trans* people.

In order to be a good ally to trans* people, it is important to learn about how the lives and concerns of trans* people differ from those of LBG people. Learning more about these differences will enable allies to better support and understand people who are trans* and/or bisexual, lesbian, or gay.

How can I learn how to be a better trans* ally?
Trans@MIT is happy to offer several kinds of resources, including tip sheets, reading recommendations, and in-person trainings. Check out the navigation links on the left side of this page for more information!

For information about MIT’s current policies and practices, see “Being Trans@MIT” or contact us directly.


Trans* is an umbrella term which describes people whose gender identities and expressions are not fully defined by the gender they were assigned at birth. Trans* people may identify as one, none, or with several of the following gender-related identities: Agender, androgyne, bigender, gender fluid, genderfree, genderless, genderqueer, intergender, multigender, neutral, neutrois, nonbinary, third gender, trans*, transgender, transsexual, trans man, trans woman, and two-spirit, among others.


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