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Netroots Nation 2012’s Statement On Transgender Etiquette

Here at Netroots Nation 2012 in Providence, Rhode Island, many of the Pam’s House Blend baristas have joined in attending this annual gathering of progressive bloggers, politicians, and new and old media representatives.

The Netroots Nation organizers made the effort to identify for conference attendees some . The etiquette was provided in the event program — on the same page as the map of the Providence Convention Center. In other words, the etiquette statement was very visible and widely read by attendees.

From page 19 of the Netroots Nation program:

Image: Netroots Nation Transgender Etiquette - Photo by Feministing's Jos Truitt , used with permission

Transgender Etiquette

There are many transgender people at Netroots Nation. To be inclusive, please keep in mind the following:

Please do not assume anyone’s gender, even people you may have met in the past. A person’s external appearance may not match their internal gender identity. Pay attention to a person’s purposeful gender expression. It’s polite to ask: “What pronoun do you prefer?” or “How do you identify?” before using pronouns or gendered words. Or better yet, ask for their name.

One way of acknowledging transgender people’s needs is to designate restrooms as gender neutral. In bathrooms, many transgender people face harassment, so please let everyone pee in peace.

We have designated some bathrooms in the Convention Center as “gender neutral.” Anyone is welcome to use them, and they are heavily signed. These restrooms are the fifth floor, outside ballrooms C and E.

Please listen to transgender people’s needs and stories when they are volunteered; yet please respect people’s privacy and boundaries and do not ask unnecessary questions.

Then please join the many hardworking allies who are working to respond appropriately to transphobic situations. Respectful allies who learn from and with transgender people and then educate others are important for successful transgender liberation. Thank you for your help and have a great conference!

There’re about a dozen or so trans attendees at the conference…on so many levels, the amount of trans attendees and the positive emphasis on transgender etiquette feels like progressive progress.

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