Cisgender women are given compliments on their looks from an early age. There is usually a focus on what girls look like and what boys can do. Trans women will understand this all too well. Depending where they are in their transition, a t-girl may not want an overabundance of compliments that are directed at her looks, especially if it’s a judgement on her “passing” abilities. Try some of these compliments that all women enjoy as a change from the looks-focused comments they are getting from everyone else. You will stand out.
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Her environment. If you notice how beautiful a woman’s home is, say so. While you don’t usually see the work that goes into having an awesome pad (scrubbing the floors or hanging paintings or adding other personal touches), women will note your appreciation. You can also comment on her family, pets, or garden.
Her work achievements. Women like to be noticed for their abilities, especial a trans woman who may have in the past, or be facing discrimination now. Support around these struggles shows her you really care.
Her talents outside work. Most of us have passions that give us the pleasure our work might not. If she’s great at something, let her know you are impressed. You may even ask her to show you how to do something – one of the best compliments you can pay a woman.
Her struggle. Every trans woman has been through a lot (more than you will ever know, especially if you’re in a casual relationship). Let her know that you understand how hard it is and how strong she is for being true to herself. Educating yourself on trans issues is also a great way to compliment.
Her brains and personality. A smart woman has no problem being reminded of the fact, especially if she is also shy. And if you think her winning personality is top shelf, you should also tell her you think so.
Now, don’t get me wong. Most of us women do enjoy a compliment on how we look… especially if we’ve gone to noticeable effort to impress a man but… that’s not all we want a man to notice!