Poll Worker Tips: Interacting Respectfully with Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (GNC) People
• At the poll, if you are greeting a Transgender/GNC person, you may recognize that their identification card does not match their presentation. If all other legal requirements are met, transgender/GNC people are entitled to their right to vote.
• Do not assume if a person is male or female.
• NEVER use words such as ‘it” or “whatever” when referring to someone who is transgender/GNC.
• When you are not sure of a person’s gender identity, or the name shown on the voting list does not appear to match the person’s gender presentation, it is OK to ask if the person has a “preferred” name and/or pronoun.
• When you are not sure what pronoun to use, stick to the person’s first name or use the pronouns “they/them/theirs.” (i.e. “This is John’s ballot.” Or “This is their ballot.”)
• NEVER ASK a transgender/GNC person what their “real name” is.
• If you make a pronoun mistake, acknowledge the mistake, and apologize. Being honest about your non-familiarity with transgender/GNC people shows respect. It also lets the person know that you recognize them as people exercising their right to vote, and will use their preferred pronoun moving forward.
• Being transgender isn’t dependent on any particular medical procedure. It isn’t ever appropriate to inquire about surgeries or any other intimate details.
• When you learn about an individual’s transgender/GNC identity, keep it private. It is privileged information. You should never “out” people by revealing their identity to others.
• Validate how people present themselves by treating them respectfully just as you would everyone else.
An adjective used to describe a person whose gender identity is incongruent with (or does not “match”) the biological sex they were assigned at birth. We have chosen to use “transgender” as an umbrella term to refer to the full range and diversity of identities within transgender communities because it is currently the most widely used and recognized term.
A person whose gender expression is perceived as being inconsistent with cultural norms expected for that gender.