tw: transphobia, transmisogyny, misgendering
Imagine this. You get up one morning and start going about your day. Everything seems normal until you overhear some of your friends talking about you down the hall. They keep using the wrong pronouns! How strange, you think, looking at your body to confirm your gender. “Hello friends,” you say. “Perhaps I’ve misheard you. Were you using pronoun x to refer to me just now?”
“But of course!” your friends say. “Because you’re gender 1 (not your gender).” You try to correct them, but they laugh, not taking you seriously. This continues all day, everyone you hear speaking of you in the third person. When you approach your professor after class to correct them, they scoff, telling you it’s just too hard for them to remember, and that they have papers to grade.
What to do? No one is using the right pronouns, and people keep assuming you’re the gender you’re not. You can’t figure out why they don’t respect you as an authority on your own identity, why they think they know better than you. The worst part is, you don’t think they’re going to stop.
This is what it’s like not to have your pronouns and gender respected. It’s hell. And it needs to stop. So if anyone says, “Pronoun x is not my pronoun. Pronoun q is my pronoun. I’m actually gender 7” just say, “Sure. Anything to help you get through your day in one piece.”
If you want to know more about why pronouns are important, please follow my upcoming post.