How to Be a Trans-friendly Financial Advisor

As Pride month begins, financial advisors have an opportunity to reflect on how trans-friendly their practices are and take steps to make them warmer, more inclusive, and more appealing to transgender clients.

Here are six simple steps you can take to make your practice more trans-friendly.

Understand the Unique Fiscal Challenges Facing Transgender Clients

Transgender people face a host of challenges that complicate their financial journeys. They are often denied housing and jobs, creating additional financial hurdles. Additionally, many transgender people are rejected by their families of origin, meaning they are more likely to be cut off from generational wealth and inheritances.

If you want to go the extra mile, educating yourself on some of the realities transgender people face could help keep your empathy skills sharp. Do you have a working understanding of dysphoria? Do you know the difference between sex and gender? There are excellent educational opportunities available, but you don’t have to understand to support. Acceptance is the most important thing you can offer.

Use the Correct Pronouns

This one is relatively simple and can go a long way. Ask for preferred pronouns and try to use the correct ones. If you make a mistake apologize, correct yourself, and then move on without making it a big deal. It’s okay to make an error, nobody is perfect, just make sure you don’t center your own feelings if you do. A simple correction and moving on without fuss will go a long way for most people.

Another thing you can do is subtly correct any of your colleagues if they make a mistake. If you catch someone using the incorrect pronoun, politely correct them without turning it into a scene. This will help others get on board.

Treat Transgender People Like Any Other Client

At the end of the day, people just want to be treated like humans. Transgender people face an enormous amount of challenges these days. There are extremist groups quite literally trying to exterminate them and government officials seeking to limit access to healthcare and even basic human rights.

Treating a transgender client with the dignity and respect you would give any other client while being empathetic to their unique struggles will go a long way toward making your practice feel safe and welcoming.

Be Publicly Supportive

Chances are, even if you don’t have a client who is transgender, some of your clients have transgender people in their lives. One way to highlight your open-mindedness is for you to be publicly supportive of transgender people. This can manifest in standing up for them when they get bullied online or contributing to causes that support equality and transgender rights.

Hire Transgender Workers

Careers are particularly challenging for many marginalized people. Because marginalized people face discrimination, they are less likely to be hired when interviewing for work. When people don’t get hired, they don’t get an opportunity to build a resume and develop skills.

One critical thing any financial advisor who needs to hire more staff can do is consider transgender candidates. It may require going out of your way, but a practice that employs transgender people is going to appear significantly more open-minded and friendly than one that does not. If your office is relatively small or unlikely to hire, then choose vendors and partners that employ transgender people.

In the noise of the current moment, it can feel like the country is divided. However, a lot of this is just noise from an extreme minority of people. It is easy to forget that a vast majority of Americans think companies should have inclusive hiring practices.

Reach Out to LGBTQ+ Communities

Many marginalized communities are isolated and disconnected from the mainstream. Reaching out to these communities can sometimes require effort. Look into local community centers and see if there’s anything you can do to help or put yourself out there. For example, holding a free financial wellness seminar at a local LGBTQ+ community center could pay huge dividends in fostering new clients eager to start their financial journeys with an trans-friendly advisor who is willing to meet them where they are.

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