After Elliot Page’s Announcement, This Twitter Thread Perfectly Explains Basic Etiquette When Talking About Trans People Coming Out

'Don't use their birth name ever. That shit is dead, you forget it ever existed.'

Elliot Page

by Georgia Aspinall |

After Elliot Page came via social media yesterday, he immediately trended online. Your feeds might’ve been filled with support for the Umbrella Academy star living their truth at last, but make no mistake, there were tons of transphobes online attacking, mocking and deadnaming Elliot.

You only need to type Elliot Page into Twitter to see for yourself, not that you would want to, but the Google data speaks volumes too. Elliot’s former name has over 1million searches following the announcement, with various news outlets headlining their articles using it too.

Of course, there are also people genuinely searching for information to better understand how to talk about someone’s transition, coming out or issues impacting transgender people following Elliot’s announcement.

Because, despite the fact there are a number of famous trans people publicly out – Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, Andreja Pejic to name a few – for some people the news about Elliot Page may be the first time they’re truly engaging with discourse around transgender people and transphobia.

For those completely unaware, one Twitter user has come to the rescue to provide a ‘basic, very basic’ trans etiquette guide so those providing commentary on Elliot and transgender issues at large can get it right.

With near 200,000 likes and over 70,000 retweets, the thread has proved popular with people hoping to learn themselves or educate their followers on issues like deadnaming, misgendering and invasive questions about surgeries or passive aggressive comments disguised as compliments.

‘”Omg I never would have known you were trans” is not the compliment you think it is,’ Martin wrote on Twitter. ‘“He, she, it, whatever” is not the funny comment you think it is.’

What is deadnaming?

Deadnaming is when someone, intentionally or not, refers to a person who is transgender by the name they used before they transitioned. For trans people, it can make them feel invalidated, disrespected and unsupported. It's also often used intentionally as a tool to abuse trans people, so whether someone means it or not deadnaming carries a lot of trauma for trans people.

Misgendering someone is similarly used as a tool to abuse trans people, but when done unintentionally Martin stressed that slipping up when discussing a transgender persons pronouns isn’t a problem, as long as you correct yourself quickly – and of course, apologise – and don’t let your embarrassment or ignorance fuel the situation to be bigger than it needs to be.

‘If you slip up on names and pronouns, that’s okay,’ Martin said. ‘Just quickly correct yourself and move on. Don’t make it a big deal, for God’s sake don’t make it a big deal.’

And of course, one of the most poignant points that has come up with the abuse Elliot Page is receiving is people questioning his sexuality. Elliot Page identifies as queer – coming out as gay in 2014 - and is married to dancer Emma Porter, with transphobes now demanding to know if Emma considers herself straight now that Elliot identifies as a man. Of course, not only is it no one else’s business, to demand an answer from anyone about their sexuality is abhorrent.

‘Everyone transitions in their own way and at their own pace, you don’t get to police that,’ Martin’s final tweet read. ‘Don’t ask them if their label on their sexuality has changed. They’ll talk about that in their own time. Just be fucking respectful, people, it’s not hard.’

Read More:

Umbrella Academy Star Elliot Page Has Come Out As Transgender In Emotional Letter To Fans

'For Trans People Like My Twin Brother, JK Rowling's Comments Are Devastating'

Munroe Bergdorf: 'Cancelling JK Rowling Won't Fix Transphobia'

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us