What I Mean When I Say “Trans Rights Are Human Rights,” and Other Things About Gender You Should Know By Now

Sinclair Sexsmith
3 min readMar 25, 2021

Trans rights are human rights.

Trans rights are human rights.

Trans rights are human rights.

And what I mean when I say that is: the sexism, homophobia, transphobia, femmephobia, and other discriminations that are oppressing trans and nonbinary people are also oppressing cis people. The gender policing that happens for trans and nonbinary people happens for cis people, too. supporting liberation for trans and nonbinary people means liberation for everyone.

Trans women are women. Full stop.

Trans men are men. Full stop.

Nonbinary people are nonbinary and can have all kinds of varied gender expressions, they don’t look one particular way. They do not have to be androgynous in order to be nonbinary. They might have fluid and varied gender expressions, or be primarily masculine or primarily feminine. they are still nonbinary.

Femmes can be nonbinary. Men can be nonbinary. Anybody can be nonbinary. There is not one way to look nonbinary.

Pronouns aren’t “preferences,” they’re facts.

If you want to make the world more comfortable for nonbinary and trans people, you can offer your pronouns when you meet new people or introduce yourself, or in your email signature, social media ‘about me’ sections, professional bio, business card, etc. Some people will feel more comfortable offering theirs in return. (Here is a little more about that.)

Never force someone to declare a pronoun. Some trans or nonbinary folks don’t know what pronoun to use, or don’t feel safe to share their real pronoun.

Do not ask trans people about their surgeries or genitals. (Maybe you can if you’re friends, and they’re open to talking about it. But tread gently.)

Do not ask trans people’s partner’s about their partner’s genitals or surgeries. (This has happened to me.)

made by the fox fisher

Scientifically speaking, there are more than two sexes. What we commonly call “biological sex” is made up of five main factors — hormones, chromosomes, internal genitalia, external genitalia, & reproductive organs. Go do a little research about intersex folks and the still-frequent nonconsensual surgeries on babies to force their bodies to conform into the false-binary of two sexes.

There are more than two genders. Gender roles are something society makes up and agrees upon, then generally enforces — that’s the idea of what a “man” or a “woman” should be. There are lots of ideas of what the gender roles of nonbinary folks, trans men, and trans women “should” be, too. Gender roles often overlapping with gender stereotypes.

Toys have no gender. Colors have no gender. Clothes have no gender. Pronouns have no gender. Hobbies have no gender. Careers have no gender. Any gender can have any interests, toys, clothes, pronouns, careers, colors, or hobbies, and anyone who puts up barriers to them based on gender is doing a huge disservice.

Women and all kinds of femme-of-center people experience discrimination and harassment pretty much daily, primarily from men. Catcalling, street harassment, dick pics, unsolicited DMs, more.

Race, class, ability, neurodiversity, and trauma all impact gender — and safety, access, oppression, and quality of life — too.

It’s 2021. Get smarter about gender. There are so many resources for you to educate yourself. It is an incredibly powerful skill to be able to change and evolve your own mind.

Practice saying things like:

  • I hadn’t thought of it like that
  • I hadn’t seen it that way before
  • If I’d known those facts I wouldn’t have thought like I did
  • Huh, that’s new information, I’ll have to think about this more

You can do it! I believe in you!!

In conclusion, trans rights are human rights.

Support trans people.

Believe trans people.

Pay trans people.

Thank you and good day.




This rant brought to you by: my women, gender, & sexuality studies degree (see, it is useful!); the hundreds of gender books, articles, podcasts, conferences, and workshops I’ve consumed since; my deep immersion in trans, nonbinary, and queer culture and communities; and the blatant transphobia that I’ve seen circulating recently.



Sinclair Sexsmith

Writer. White non-binary butch feminist dominant. They/them pronouns. www.sugarbutch.net