Misgendering

Misgendering

So, next part of the not passing as “traditionally” male or female for trans folx is the misgendering. It happens a lot.

Misgendering is when someone assumes you are a different gender to what you are based on their assumptions on your appearance. Or how you sound down the phone. Or your name, if you happen to have one that is seen as belonging to one gender over the other.

It makes me feel like trash.

I get that most people don’t mean harm by it: like I said in the very first post, I don’t “pass” as traditionally male, and so to people who I haven’t outright told yet, they get mistaken and assume I’m a girl. It happened last night when some random drunk bloke came and spoke to my group of friends outside the pub. It happened again a few minutes later when I told an idiot to stop sexually harassing the young woman working behind the counter in the 24hr McDonalds we had popped into to use the bathroom.

It can be done with malicious intent: the times when I’ve used the bathroom I’ve felt more comfortable in, and been told I have no place in because my gender doesn’t belong there. The rape threats for daring to go in again.

The bit that really gets me about the whole thing is that it is so easily avoided. We have the singular they, we have for hundreds of years, and we use it without thinking a lot of the time: “Oh, someone dropped their phone, I hope they notice and come back for it.”

Is it too much to ask that we default to this? Don’t assume a person’s gender until they tell you, and if they don’t, just use they when talking about them. If they want you to use something else they will likely tell you, and this way you aren’t misgendering them yourself, and you aren’t passing the wrong information on to other people.

It seems like such a tiny thing, but in a world where being trans is seen as an act of defiance that much be quashed, it can make so much difference.

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