A transgender teen has written a guide for ‘basic trans etiquette’ to help educate people after actor Elliot Page came out a transgender.
Martin, a 17-year-old trans and queer creator from Canada, took to Twitter on Tuesday to share a thread regarding the things cisgender people should avoid saying and doing someone who is trans or non-binary.
‘So in light of Elliot Page coming out, I’m gonna remind you guys of basic, Very Basic trans etiquette in this thread,’ he wrote, listing a number of common offenses in his follow-up tweets.
Educational: Martin, a 17-year-old trans and queer creator from Canada, tweeted a ‘basic trans etiquette’ guide after actor Elliot Page (pictured in 2019) came out as transgender
Listen up: Martin told DailyMail.com he made the guide because he ‘knew there would be responses to Elliot’s coming out that would be unintentionally offensive’
‘You don’t use their birth name. Ever. That s**t is dead, you forget that it even existed,’ he said of the practice, which is known as ‘deadnaming.’
In his Twitter thread, he stressed that you should ‘make an effort’ to use the right pronouns and correct others when they say the wrong ones.
‘If you slip up on names and pronouns, that’s okay,’ he added. ‘Just quickly correct yourself and move on. Don’t make it a big deal, for God’s sake don’t make it a big deal.’
With that being said, he explained that ‘you don’t get a special prize for using the right name and pronouns.’
‘It’s basic respect,’ he pointed out. ‘Don’t act like you’re doing them a favor.’
Martin, who turns 18 later this month, went on to list some offensive things that people commonly say to transgender or non-binary people.
“‘Omg I never would have known you were trans” is not the compliment you think it is,’ he said. ‘”He, she, it, whatever” is not the funny comment you think it is.’
Number one rule: In the thread, Martin stressed that you should never use a trans or non-binary person’s birth name, a practice which is known as ‘deadnaming’
Thinks twice: He spoke about making an effort to use the right pronouns, noting it’s okay if ‘you slip up’ and have to correct yourself
Rude behavior: The teen also shared some of the offensive and intrusive things cisgender people say to trans people
Blowing up: The first tweet in Martin’s viral thread has been shared more than 75,000 times and has received 214,000 likes
Martin also noted that cisgender people should never ask a trans person what surgeries they have had or are planning to have.
‘Everyone transitions in their own way and at their own pace. You don’t get to police that,’ he tweeted. ‘Don’t ask them if their label on their sexuality has changed. They’ll talk about that in their own time. Just be f**king respectful, people, it’s not hard.’
Martin told DailyMail.com via Instagram direct message that he was inspired to make the post after Elliot publicly came out as transgender.
‘I knew there would be responses to Elliot’s coming out that would be unintentionally offensive, such as using his birth name or asking intrusive questions that really weren’t anyone’s business, so I felt it was important to just compile a list of some basic things that new cis allies should know about,’ he said.
The first tweet in Martin’s viral thread has been shared more than 75,000 times and has received 214,000 likes.
‘The responses have been really varied, though for the most part it’s attracted people who are just genuinely trying to learn about the do’s and don’ts when referring to a trans person,’ he said.
‘I spent a lot of yesterday just answering questions the best that I could, as the whole point of the thread was to help educate. There were also unfortunately a lot of transphobes in the replies, however. I was replying to them at first, but then just realized if I couldn’t educate them to be better then they weren’t worth my time.’
Changes: Elliot publicly came out as transgender on Tuesday by sharing an emotional statement on social media
Coming out: Elliot share the statement on his Twitter and Instagram pages, saying his pronouns are he/him and they, their
Martin explained that he actually had to mute the thread because his cellphone was ‘absolutely blowing up,’ which he and his friends had a ‘good laugh about,’ but he is still checking it from time to time.
‘It seems like the education is still going on in the replies, which I find great,’ he said.
The teen noted that if there is one take away from his post, it’s that you should ‘treat trans people like people.’
‘You wouldn’t ask a married woman what her maiden name was out of nowhere, so why ask a trans person their birth name?’ he said. ‘You wouldn’t ask a cis person what genitals they have, so don’t do it to a trans person.
‘We’re just people,’ he added. ‘There’s no need for 20 questions and a million uncomfortable conversations after we come out. I’m just hoping that the things I listed in the thread are common knowledge one day so that we don’t have to keep reminding people of those things.’
Elliot, who as Ellen Page starred in the films Juno and Inception, publicly revealed on Tuesday that he is transgender and non-binary, meaning their gender identity is neither man nor woman.
The 33-year-old Canadian actor, who has been married to dancer Emma Portner, 26, since 2018, shared his emotional statement on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
Opening up: Elliot has been married to his wife Emma Portner (seen together in June 2019) for nearly three years after coming out as gay in 2014
Emotional: Elliot’s wife Emma took to Instagram shortly after the actor shared his statement to offer public words of support, writing, ‘Shine on sweet E. Love you so much’
‘Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot,’ he wrote. ‘I feel lucky to be writing this. To have arrived at this place in my life.’
Elliot, who received an Oscar nod for his role in the hit 2008 movie Juno, asked his followers and fans for ‘patience,’ admitting that he is ‘scared’ of the ‘invasiveness, the hate, the jokes, and of the violence’ that he may face moving forward.
‘My job is real, but it is also fragile,’ the actor said, adding: ‘The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared.’
Elliot went on to speak about discrimination against trans people, saying the ‘statistics are staggering.’
‘In 2020 alone it has been reported that at least 40 transgender people have been murdered, the majority of which were Black and Latinx trans women,’ he said.
‘To the political leaders who work to criminalize trans health care and deny our right to exist and to all of those with a massive platform who continue to spew hostility towards the trans community: you have blood on your hands.
‘You unleash a fury of vile and demeaning rage that lands on the shoulders of the trans community, a community in which 40% of trans adults report attempting suicide. Enough is enough. You aren’t being “cancelled,” you are hurting people. I am one of those people and we won’t be silent in the face of your attacks.
Breakthrough: Elliot first became a household name after starring as a pregnant teenager in the hit 2007 movie Juno, for which he earned an Oscar nomination
Looking ahead: The actor is preparing to begin filming for the third season of Netflix hit The Umbrella Academy, and insiders have revealed he will continue to play female violinist Vanya
‘I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer,’ he added. ‘And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive. To all trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you and I will do everything to change this world for the better.’
Although Elliot did not detail how or when he came out to his family, he thanked his loved ones for their support through his journey, expressing his ‘overwhelming gratitude’ for helping him to reach a stage where he felt comfortable to ‘pursue his authentic self.’
Shortly after the actor posted the statement, his wife Emma voiced her public support for him on Instagram, while reiterating her partner’s plea for patience.
‘I am so proud of @elliotpage. Trans, queer and non-binary people are a gift to this world,’ Emma wrote. ‘I also ask for patience & privacy [and] that you join me in the fervent support of trans life every single day. Elliot’s existence is a gift in and of itself. Shine on sweet E. Love you so much.’
Elliot’s decision to publicly reveal he is transgender comes almost three years after the couple tied the knot in a secret ceremony, having only been dating publicly for six months. He publicly came out as gay in 2014.
The actor is currently due to begin filming the third season of Netflix hit The Umbrella Academy in February. He plays the role of Vanya Hargreeves, a cisgender woman with the ability to harness sound and convert it into energy.
Sources told Variety that Elliot will continue to play the role of Vanya Hargreeves following his coming out and ‘there are no plans to change the character’s gender.’