Being an ally is important.

It lets everyone around you know that you are supportive and attentive to the needs of others. Being an ally demonstrates that you want to help change the world for marginalized communities, even if you are not necessarily part of a particular group.

Do your homework.

Use social media, blogs, websites, and books to educate yourself on the issues facing trans communities.

Be kind.

Be courteous, patient and caring with people. Smiling and asking about someone's day can go a long way when someone is used to facing stares or harassment.

Make 'ally' a verb.

Being an ally is about doing something and making change with, and for, trans communities.

Apologize when you make a mistake.

Everyone makes mistakes and that is okay. If, and when, someone points out your mistake, acknowledge the wrong that has been done, apologize, and move on. It isn't always about your intent, but about the impact.

Understand your privilege.

Recognize the ways that being cisgender allows you to access washrooms, health care, or transcripts, with ease. Think about the entitlements you take for granted which others must fight.

Listen.

Experiences of transphobia can be dismissed. Affirm the experiences of trans people. Listen to how you can provide support and be an ally.

Different ways to support.

You may need to stand BESIDE someone to support them. Listen to them and walk with them through an experience. You may need to stand IN FRONT of someone to help them avoid harm and hurt. You may need to stand BEHIND someone to support them, recognizing that they are the experts, and know what is best for them.

Being an ally isn't just about creating affirming spaces in your work environment; it is also about creating affirming and welcoming social environments. Think holistically about inclusion.