First, most trans people don’t like it when cis people refer to all trans people as TS or as transsexual or as X-to-Y. It is better to refer to the entire group as transgender people or simply as trans people. Also, when focusing on trans women, say trans women. Also, representation of trans women in media has different challenges than representation of trans men. because trans men are not stereotyped as being murderers, being rapists, being “obsessed” with femininity, or having lost touch with reality.
Consider that since you’re not a trans woman, especially because you’re a cis man, anything you write about trans women will be considered by cis people to be more valuable than anything trans women write about trans women. And anything written by you about trans women will be met with much (rightful) distrust from many trans women who will read the story.
Because of that… I think you should seriously think about why you want to have a trans woman protagonist. If it’s to make some kind of point, don’t do it. Don’t use images of trans women as rhetorical devices. Remember that trans women are part of the audience of anything you write. Don’t write for cis people alone. Don’t write a “this is what a trans woman is like” story.
If it’s because you want to write a story with a character that happens to be a trans woman, that is a lot different. If so, prepare to do a lot of research. And I mean a LOT. Read things trans women have written about themselves and about transmisogyny. Read comics by trans women. Listen to trans woman comedians. Immerse yourself. Read about what trans women have identified as transmisogynist tropes and avoid using them. In the process of research, don’t be creepy and follow trans women’s blogs and ask them personal questions about their childhoods or transitions. Trans women are not zoo exhibits.
If you are unwilling to do that research, don’t feature a trans woman in your story.
As a final note: I am not a trans woman. I also believe that many trans women would tell you not to attempt to write such a story, because it is extremely unlikely (and extremely difficult) for a cis person to do so in a way that will not misrepresent or otherwise harm trans women. I agree with them and believe that you should heed them. Consider supporting trans woman authors by buying and recommending their books.
There isn’t a quick way that will make you effortlessly call him the right pronoun all the time. It takes time to change a six-year pattern. When you do mess up, the best way to approach it is to verbally correct your mistake and not make a big deal out of it (because it is a brain fart). It is also helpful to correct yourself in your thoughts, if you find yourself thinking about the person and mispronouning him in your thoughts.
The most important part of this is knowing that you will inevitably mess up from time to time, and when that happens, don’t voice any excuses for it. Just correct yourself and move on in the sentence.
I will not signal-boost a petition that has language that propogates the idea that any and all trans people fit the narrative of born in the wrong body, or that being trans in itself is a medical/psychological condition for every trans person. I will not leave any trans person desiring hormones or surgeries behind.
(Link to the petition in question: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/provide-financial-coverage-sex-reassignment-surgeries-transgender-americans/SXvgvYhv)
After a long period of neglect, I’m going to do a much-needed overhaul of the category pages of the directory, add specific pages compiling resources for trans people of color and for some specific non-binary identities, and revamp the layout. Please pardon the directory’s appearance while it is under construction.
There is a list of such blogs here: http://transdirectory.tumblr.com/soffa
If you consider yourself trans, then yes.