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August 18, 2014: Pronoun Confusion

August 19, 2014

This link from Upworthy.com is a great primer for people who are confused about how to talk to a transperson: http://www.upworthy.com/introducing-the-ultimate-guide-for-not-sounding-like-a-jerk-when-talking-to-trans-folk?c=ufb1.

My answer is a lot simpler than that: Talk to transpeople the way you would talk to anyone else. And use the correct pronoun. In most cases, if a person is identifies and presents as female, that person wants to be referred to as “she” and “her.” Vice versa for a person who identifies and presents as male. But if a person is gender-fluid, just ask. They’ll appreciate that you’re making that small effort.

Last year at the Southern Comfort conference, a vendor at the trade fair addressed a transwoman using a male pronoun. That vender should have known better! This was a transgender conference, after all. And one of my brothers once referred to Mara as “it.” No confusion there; just hate.

I realize that many people are still caught up in the gender binary, which is nothing more than an unspoken “rule” that our society has gone along with. But, while most people identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, which is based solely on their outward anatomical appearance, not everyone does. There really is no gender binary. There never has been.

 

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