Anonymous asked: So I have this friend who has recently come out as transgender (FTM) and it's great. However since this transition is still so new people are still learning that it's happening and the other day I mentioned it to a family member who was under the impression that my friend was a cisgendered lesbian and they asked me why he couldn't just be a 'dyke' essentially. For whatever reason I couldn't articulate a very good answer to really explain how gender identity works. Any thoughts or resources?
If you’re trying to explain in plain terms the complexities of gender, or at least why your friend identifies as a man, what being trans* is, etc. to someone then the best thing I can recommend for you, though it may seem a little obvious or on the nose, are the Wikipedia articles related to the subject: Gender identity (I highly recommend this one as a starter to introduce the others), Transgender, Transsexualism, and Trans man.
The articles are highly extensive and respectful, and having the information come from an objective, widely-used and well-known source will likely help your family member (or others you may attempt to educate that do no have any understanding on the issue or how their comments/view may be harmful, disrespectful, or simply incorrect) accept the information, and ideally encourage them to have faith in its accuracy. Being well-versed in the knowledge and terms presented in the articles yourself may equip you to better explain these issues on your own as well.