[CW: dysphoria, transphobia, misgendering, sexual assault]
You might say: Oh, but new pronouns are really hard for me.
I hear: You’re not worth my time and effort.
You might say: Oh, but your old name is so pretty.
I hear: I will define you by my own criteria, regardless of the information you gave me.
You might say: But are you sure you’re trans?
I hear: You’re making me uncomfortable. Stop being you now.
You might say: Oh, I’ll try, but it might take me a while.
I hear: God, you’re such hard work, a proper attention seeker.
Trans is not a thing I’d ever ask to be, but it is such a large part of my identity that your denial is like a knife to the heart.
We’ve known each other since we were kids, and I’ve given you the courtesy of complimenting the changes to your person whilst acknowledging your being and yet you can’t afford me the same respect?
It takes you less time to say my new name than it does my old, half the time if that, and the pronouns are ones we use every day. It may not be the ones I wore when we were kids, but I don’t wear those horrible 90s clothes anymore either.
I trusted you, a lifelong friend, with information that could get me killed. There are factions out there that hate folx like me so much they would rather kill us than show us the tiniest amount of respect. And your violence may not be their violence but yours is violence nonetheless.
But you didn’t know that.
Every day I open my eyes is violence. When I am forced to wear the wrong name and pronouns at work. When I can’t wear my binder because my shifts are long, and it’ll do more damage than good. Being misgendered when trying to buy my fucking lunch in the supermarket. Being called a “stupid bitch” by some arsehole who can’t park properly in a near empty carpark, because he assumes I am female and he is comfortable abusing me.
Being groped at the bar when I try and to spend time out with friends. Being followed back to my car by creeping shadows with inappropriate propositions. Being made to wear queer as a badge of shame when I tell them I don’t want anything to do with their cock.
Having to hold my keys between my fingers just in case they lay a hand on me, and it’s the only way to make them back off. Finger on the emergency call button on my phone in my pocket, just in case.
Just in case, just in case, just in case.
But I understand. Your using a new name for me is too difficult. It would take you way too long to think about my pronouns when you introduce me to someone. I get it that my new haircut, my new glasses, my wearing a shirt and jeans instead of a dress to go out makes you uncomfortable.
I get it, my existence is an inconvenience, a trouble, too much for you to put up with. Forget I said anything, please, continue as you have always done.
God forbid I be given any respect.