I’ve about had it with cisgender people not only assuming my gender, but making the wrong assumption. I have been on HRT for around three months, have long hair, I have soft skin, I wear women’s clothing including skirts and dresses, I have breasts (all be it small ones, but I do have them and wear a bra), and I am careful to shave (at least twice a day for my face and once a day for my legs and arms), pluck my eyebrows and get laser treatment. Even with all of this more than half the cisgender people I meet frequently mess up on my pronouns frequently and don’t even bother ever asking me how I identify. This constantly puts me in the difficult situation of either wondering if it is worth it to correct them or if it is just too much trouble. Even after reminding or correcting these people they still often slip up, which frustrates me (why they had trouble in the first place gendering me properly is even a mystery).
Those who usually gender me correctly are those who are most of the time the friendliest, and have the least amount of trouble with pronouns. These people generally never have misgendered me in the first place and assumed right away that I am female or asked and remembered my response. So it really does bother me when I have reminded someone at least twice and they still slip up when others have never had a problem addressing me properly, including people who are outside of the LGBTQ community. It shouldn’t be that hard to remember someone’s personal pronoun and respect it.
I feel as though a lot of the people misgendering me do so out of apathy, rather than spite. They don’t seem to realize how marginalizing or dysphoric it makes me feel to be addressed improperly and to be denied the use of the proper pronoun.
These people can make me feel as though I am ugly or doing a poor job trying to transition, and even though I try to avoid these feelings often it is hard to do so and totally frustrating. The worst part though is that it doesn’t seem like there is any sort of reasoning behind it other than apathy. Often the people misgendering me are those I don’t know all that well from within the LGB community, who I feel should be better allies and should really care more about their transgender siblings. It frustrates me a great deal that this is the case that those within the community of all people don’t seem to care about how rude it is to misgender others.
(1) God damn I wish you were still at CSUN
(2) I am going to steal your hair and nails
And now onto my real response:
Seriously, I cannot even begin to understand your situation and I want to apologize for idiots. I have been miss-gendered and I know, even being born a woman, it made me want to cry. I know, for my friends at the very least I always ask what pronouns they prefer, but I’m sorry that others do not. It is an assumption on our part, we decide as children what makes a woman and what makes a man, so without proper educating, these gender stereotypes are perpetuated. My sister has long hair, hips and clear breasts; where as I wear a padded bra, have next to no hips thanks to my size and am trying to grow out my hair, so I am constantly miss-gendered, even after multiple corrections. However; had you not been brave enough to share your experiences, I wouldn’t have even brought mine up because I am so ashamed.
Just remember what a beautiful and amazing woman you are. Know that idiots like will become the minority if only strong people like you keep your voices loud. Hopefully your posts and knowledge will teach and help to change minds for the better. You, my dear, have my supreme gratitude and respect for everything you do. Thank you for being so resilient in your journey.