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Here’s how to support a transgender friend

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Transgender Day Of Visibility takes place on March 31 every year and is a day to show your support for the trans community.It’s a worthy cause, and where better to start than with those closest to you?Being there for a transgender mate might seem daunting and confusing, so we spoke to an expert to get some advice on how to be a good friend.I spoke to Samantha Carbon, a psychotherapist who works closely with transgender individuals offering support and professional counselling and she shared some tips.Starting up a conversation with your friend might be at the forefront of your mind, but it doesn’t give you the right to force them into talking about a subject which may be very painful for them to approach.Samantha says, ‘It takes an unbelievable amount of courage for an individual to begin to recognise they want to be fully seen and to no longer endure the internal suffering they have experienced for some time.’Don’t push the topic, let them lead the way.As a friend, the best thing you can do is to treat them the way they’re asking you to treat them, not the way traditional society expects you to.Samantha says it’s ‘crucial to put aside your bias’ in order to help your friend ‘enjoy a life without having to live in fear, resistance or exile’.Even those who are vocal on the subject get sick of being asked about being transgender, as television star and LGBTQ activist Jazz Jennings revealed in an interview with Dazed magazine.She said: ‘People ask the same questions about me being transgender.

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