Being a group so small in number, and with so few people actually knowing one of us, transgender individuals and causes are often invisible — and, therefore misunderstood — to the general public. While straight, cisgender allies of gay rights are plentiful, finding cisgender allies of trans rights and causes is a much greater challenge.
But it's not impossible. Here are 12 cisgender individuals who have made a positive impact on the lives of transgender people through their words and actions.
By no means is this a comprehensive list. Instead, we're highlighting those who don't simply tell others of their allyship, but who prove it through action.
California Governor Jerry Brown (left) and Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, legislators
In 2013, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (left) introduced the School Success and Opportunity Act, a bill that would grant protections to California students in areas including public accommodations, class choice, and extracurricular activities. Brown signed the bill into law in August of 2013.
Dave Zirin, journalist
Zirin has long been a supporter of LGBT rights and is a shining example of how an ally conducts himself. In the wake of Caleb Hannan's infamous "Dr. V" story, Zirin supported trans voices by sharing critiques of the piece by trans people. "Being an ally is not always rushing to be white straight cis-guy against oppression, but using leverage to promote marginalized voices," Zirin tweeted earlier this year. "A good ally is like an offensive lineman. You gotta clear space. If people recognize, great. If people say your name too much, you effed up."