Answering Inappropriate Questions Often Asked of Transgender Women

The transgender community faces many misconceptions and inappropriate questions from society. Transgender vlogger Mathilda Hogberg addresses some of these common offensive questions directed at transgender women in particular, providing insight into why the questions should not be asked while also tactfully answering them.

Let's take a look at answering inappropriate questions often asked of transgender women.


Why Asking About Surgery Is Inappropriate

One of the most invasive questions directed at transgender women is whether they have had gender affirmation surgery on their genitalia.

Hogberg explains why this question should not be asked - you would not ask cisgender people about their private parts, so the same courtesy should be extended to transgender individuals.

However, Hogberg shares that she personally has undergone bottom surgery and now has vaginoplasty.


Misguided Curiosity About Appearance and Function

Other inappropriate but common questions focus on the appearance and function of transgender women's bodies after transitioning.

Hogberg points out the creepy nature of wondering if a transgender woman's genitalia "looks real" or "works", for example.

She clarifies that her surgical results are naturalistic in appearance and fully functional. Again, these would never be questions posed to cisgender women.


The Painful History of Deadnaming

Asking transgender people about their "old name" or seeing pre-transition photos is also highly inappropriate and painful.

Within the community, a transgender person's pre-transition name is often referred to as their "dead name", representative of a previous identity that is no longer true to who they are.

While Hogberg shares a past photo for context, she emphasizes transgender people will share this vulnerable history when they are ready.


Secure Identities Cannot Be Changed on a Whim

Hogberg also highlights the absurdity and offensiveness of asking a transgender person if they have "changed their mind" or want to de-transition. Gender transition is not a casual, frivolous decision.

After her own lengthy transition process over many years and finally feeling at home in her female identity, Hogberg cannot imagine ever wanting to return to the pain of her pre-transition life.


Normal Relationships Defy Assumptions

Finally, questioning whether transgender women's male partners must then be gay also stems from a place of ignorance.

Hogberg affirms her own heterosexuality as a woman and her boyfriend's heterosexuality as a man who is attracted to and dating a woman, i.e. Hogberg, despite her transgender status. Their normal love defies stereotypes.

While an imperfect understanding of the transgender experience leads many to ask inappropriate questions, Hogberg's insights reveal the humanity behind transgender identities. With compassion and respect, society can overcome misconceptions.


In conclusion, the article highlights the common inappropriate questions directed at transgender women and provides insight into why these questions should not be asked while also tactfully answering them.

The article emphasizes the importance of respecting transgender individuals' privacy and autonomy, and acknowledges the pain and vulnerability that comes with being transgender.

By understanding the humanity behind transgender identities and striving for compassion and respect, society can overcome misconceptions and create a more inclusive environment for all individuals.