Tag Archives: Transgender

Referring to a Person as “It” is Never O.K. Obviously.

16 Jun

So, something unfortunate happened last week that I have been trying to decide how to write about. One of my coworkers came out of a room with a client wearing a very confused and slightly shocked look on his face. I approached him assuming the client had been unruly or said something upsetting.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“I don’t know what it was.”

“You don’t know what?”

“I don’t know if it was a chick or a dude.”

I stared at him for a long moment at a loss for words.

“You don’t know whether they were a man or a woman?”

“Oh excuse me! They

He responded to me with an irritated tone, as if he had been the one offended by my comment, no matter how much his comment may have offended the person in the room.

The thing is I really like this coworker, he is a progressive thinker in general and a pretty decent guy all around- but it’s hard for me to forget this comment.

I have no idea whether the person in the room was transgendered or gender nonconformist. I have no idea what the correct pronoun would be to address them with because I did not meet or speak to them, but I can’t believe that anyone would think it was acceptable.

I think, at least from my very small worldview, many people are never really taught about appropriate uses of pronouns for people who are not cisgendered. Something that has been made abundantly clear with the shoddy reporting on R.Kelly’s child. I don’t think the thought that this person may or may not identify with the gender identity they were prescribed at birth ever even crossed my coworker’s mind. And sometimes I wonder how to go about educating people on this topic, when they don’t really have any desire to learn. It’s frustrating when something that doesn’t seem like a complicated issue to grasp is met with such ambivalence.

I understand we all have different backgrounds, education, and familiarity with transgendered people and issues, I myself don’t feel especially educated enough to even write about the topic in any great depth, but I would expect any lay person to understand that no one enjoys being referred to as an it.

I tried to use this incident as a teaching moment as best I could without appearing superior, which I feel I sometimes fail at. The thing is I was offended by his remark, which made it difficult to attempt to explain gender pronouns in a levelheaded manner. I did my best.

Thoughts?

Advertisements
cycpyper

"My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations"

Serenity's Ashrama

"Our inner hankering is for satisfaction, happiness, sweetness, love, beauty and mercy." Swami B.R.Sridhar maharaja.

The Ms. Education of Shelby Knox

Musings of a girl revolutionary.

Unsettling America

Decolonization in Theory & Practice

Appalachian Trail Girl

A How-To for Hiker Girls

Mary Griggs

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

Dilly Tante

Doing an okay job at lots of things

FatFemPinUp

Always Speak Your Mind, Always Flaunt Your Curves!

Call Me Keira

I'm beginning to accept myself as Transsexual. With this blog I plan to explore what that means for me.

The Fickle Heartbeat

A blog about love or lack thereof

Uncle Tree's House

Putting music to words, and words to pictures ~

APENYO

How she makes her beer money.

Roof Beam Reader

A Place of Books and the Thoughts They Inspire