Norms Within Online Trans Communities

Online trans communities have certain norms that differ significantly from mainstream society, and some that dovetail with mainstream norms but are still distinct from them. The most obvious, of course, have to do with the treatment of gender itself and the language that goes along with it. More specifically, they have to do with how we refer to sex, in both senses of the word, how we relate to our bodies, how we perceive our identities in the present and through time, and how we relate to others. Norms are also very centered on having respect for others, or at least their identities.

Interactions in these small, somewhat loose-knit communities that make up my online social circles happen on Discord and Tumblr, for the most part.

Identity words are always respected.

When I say always, I don't mean always. Exceptions exist, but they are few and far between. What's important, rather, is respecting people's identities and the words they identify with, regardless of how you feel about the actual person. Included under this umbrella of respecting identity words is to always use the correct pronouns, to always use the correct name(s), to always use the correct terminology, and to always use the terms they like best. My speculation on the origin of that is because our communities are "safe spaces." We will often have people use terms for us that range from awkward to slurs, misgender us because they can't be bothered to make the effort, or deadname us out of outright malice. This hurts, obviously, and generally people drew the conclusion that the golden rule was a good principle to apply. The application of the golden rule was then extended into the social norm we have today.

The norm also sometimes results in exchanges along the lines of "i hate his guts" "uh this person uses they them" "i hate their guts" or similar, because members of these communities have a desire to get it right.