We work very hard to keep this a safe place for all who come here. This is an important thing because if people do not feel appreciated and respected, they won’t come back. That would be very unfortunate because isolation is a big problem in our community. Also, we don’t do politics here. Not that we couldn’t, but we don’t as it helps keep the stress level down.
As a reminder, don’t conflate sex and gender. Regarding sex, there are those who are assigned male at birth (AMAB) and those who are assigned female at birth (AFAB). Somewhere in between are people who are intersex. It may not not be obvious that someone is intersex because it may be at the chromosomal level without any external evidence.
Gender turns out to be a spectrum. When ones gender aligns with ones sex, it is known as cisgender. As a prefix, cis is Latin for “one this side”. When ones gender does not align with ones sex, it is known as transgender. A good way to think about it is: Sex is between your legs and Gender is between your ears. It is not exactly known why this misalignment happens, but some differences have been noted in brain scans. Still, it isn’t understood why the differences happen.
The significance of pronouns is this. It says that we see a person as they want to be seen. We have no right to define someone as we think they should be defined. That is up to them; not us.
One the things that will be difficult is where you live. Resources for trans people will likely be found in Dallas and Houston, but probably not your town. At this point in time, it sounds like your friend would find a lot of benefit from working with a therapist. However, it is very important to find someone with experience with gender issues. The problem is that the consideration of possibly being transgender is an intersection of some very difficult things to think about. Often we just let these things built up until they appear to be insurmountable. A good gender therapist can help keep focus on what needs to be thought about and the possible decisions that may come up.
Be reminded that this is a deliberate event. There are no style points for haste. Think of it more like a marathon and less of a sprint. Along the way what we learn needs to be mentally processed and internalized. It is not the work of a minute because running headlong into things only to regret it later is not helpful…