HOMETOWN: York UK
We don't need wrapping in cotton wool, we just want to be treated with the same respect and dignity that you would treat anyone else with.
If someone is dressed as a female, then address them as female, if they happen to be non-binary, they will correct you, but never address someone as 'it'.
If you are unsure, ask, but in an almost apologetic way, i.e. 'excuse me, don't be offended but, i'm unsure how i should address you'
So, how do you have sex? Really, would you ask your non transgender friend the same question?
Here's the thing, if you get terminology right and you ask the right things, you will be helping to keep a Transgender person alive.
Which toilets do you use? That should be obvious, in the UK a person a legal right to use the restroom facilities of their chosen gender
Of those, well over 40% actually attempt suicide
Did you know that over 80% of all transgender people will think about ending their life at some stage?
Never ask if someone has 'had their surgery' they may give up this information if and when they feel comfortable around you, or they may not, but it is private and personal, so do not ask.
So, just a sample of what not to ask, But remember, being transgender is not just a phase, it's not a fantasy either. Just surviving each day is a small victory for a transgender person, a step which gets easier with the passage of time, and in those early days of transition, we are at our most vulnerable.
We may not 'pass' completely, we may still have facial hair to cover which means extra make up.
We are probably the most self conscious of all people and often suffer low confidence, which means everything you say can affect us in a bad way, every second longer lingering look we get feels like we are being inspected.
Just having a bad day in general, on top of being subjected to being mis-gendered, or questioned about 'when you were a man' to being sniggered at because we don't quite 'pass' or worse, being called 'it' or 'thing', can push a transgender person from that 80% bracket into the attempted suicide bracket.