So, for the record…
My “preferred” pronouns are they/them/theirs. But I also like he/him/his. And I’m not completely opposed to she/her/hers.
The first reason I am okay with a variety of different pronouns is obviously because my gender is fluid. For me, being genderfluid doesn’t necessarily mean that my gender fluctuates or changes. It means that most days, I feel like a man and a woman. More masculine than feminine, but my femininity is still strong enough to make me feel like a woman. Not that I have to be feminine to identify as a woman, or that I must identify as a woman if I want to be feminine. This is just how I feel inside.
So let me put this into a better perspective. I would say that I feel 75% male and 25% female. Most days. And some days I feel like my gender doesn’t even matter. I’m just Brixton.
This is why I don’t push my pronouns. First of all, because I am essentially okay with anything. Second, because right now, I can’t change what gender other people perceive me as. My gender expression screams male. But other features about myself scream female. On a day to day basis, I get gendered both ways. Sometimes I will be referred to as ‘he’ and the other half of the day I am perceived as a ‘she.’ And at this point in my transition, I am okay with that.
I can’t predict the way I will feel in a years time. But I know that right now, I can’t expect people to automatically understand my gender identity and therefore pronouns. I have to bring myself to be okay with pronouns other than my gender neutral pronouns.
Now! Understand this please… I know that there are a lot of transgender people that are very dysphoric about their pronouns. Being misgendered, whether it’s an accident or not, can be detrimental to somebody’s confidence and even mental health. After being misgendered for the majority of your life, you can be left feeling defeated and mentally drained. I understand that completely. Even some genderfluid and agender people are really attached to their pronouns.
But I guess I am easy going like that. There are some things in life that I don’t understand and I know some people have a hard time understanding trans people’s preferred pronouns. I’m not the type to get offended easily. As a matter of fact, I have a higher tendency to feel uncomfortable if someone gendered me one way and then tried to correct themselves. Because then things start to get awkward.
I remember one of my patients at work referred to me as a male and then started apologizing after he heard the sound of my voice. He started saying things like “I am so sorry. You don’t look like a man. It’s just the short hair. You don’t see very many women with short hair.” I wasn’t out at the time, but I wanted so bad to say “it’s okay, I am a man. But just because my hair is short doesn’t mean I’m not a woman.” Even now, it feels so foreign to say so there was no way I could have reassured him then. But the point here is that I didn’t start to feel uncomfortable until he “corrected” himself. I look the part, sure. But the mere sound of my voice gives me away and that is when dysphoria sets in. I would have been completely fine if he referred to me as the same gender throughout our entire conversation. But the fact his mindset changed in an instant is what made me cringe a little bit. So you see? Awkwaaaaaard. X-P
So anyway, yeah I don’t enforce my pronouns on anybody. Much in the same way I wouldn’t want somebody to enforce their religious beliefs on me. It takes time. I get that. The world will come around with time, if we’re persistent in educating people. But at the same time, we must be patient. I just recently started living as a genderfluid male and the process is still very slow. I think we should have the same patience with this pronoun thing. We have to remember that as much as we try, not everybody is going to agree with everything we believe in. I know I wouldn’t agree with some beliefs as much as they were preached.
But an ending note that I think is the most important…Sometimes a person’s pronouns are a huge part of their identity. Their pronouns play a very important role in the validation of their gender. And everybody should put in the effort to respect and use their preferred pronouns. They can make or break a person’s sense of self-worth. If you are using the wrong pronouns to intentionally hurt someone, you are definitely in the wrong. Or if you are upset with somebody and want to offend them in some way, DO NOT stoop low enough and misgender them on purpose. If I drank the last bit of milk that you were saving for your cereal, I’d rather you call me a b*tch than change my pronouns to purposely hurt my feelings. For real.
Thanks for reading! Talk later.