Gender pronouns

Posted by Ayesha, Volunteer Mentor @ayeshasharma, Wed, Aug 14 3:49am

It can be really tough to tell people your gender pronouns when you have anxiety and depression. Does anyone else have experiences with this?

@ayeshasharma Good morning to you and hope you are doing well these days. As always, you offer valuable insight and information for a segment of our society that is often overlooked. While I have not had the dilemma you are speaking about, I do wonder if anxiety of advising people your preferred pronoun happens because you don't know what their reaction might be? Although we tell ourselves to "stay strong", and "we deserve respect", we cannot forecast what/how someone else may say/do, and the anxiety of not being accepted for who we are starts all over again. I think that is why some individuals choose to isolate, or interact solely with like-minded people. I am so sad to see disrespect and ridicule launched at those who are not "just like me". For me, each person has the absolute right to be addressed as they would like. Period. Just my two cents worth.
Ginger

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I don't have this particular challenge but I understand this issue. As I've worked in advocacy programs for people who do struggle with this problem, and it continues to be a problem, unfortunately. For me, the answer is education. I was educated in the importance of respecting how one prefers to be addressed. This was new and welcomed information at the time. But I only began to understand through continuing education. I'm pessimistic though. I just don't think people really want to understand these issues. Seems like a large majority of folks prefer ignorance.

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@gingerw good morning to you and thank you for sharing this! I think it's only a benefit to see allies like you who outwardly express openness and interest in making an effort. Your two cents are valued and appreciated.

@georgette12 I completely agree that this problem requires education, because mainstream culture has thought of gender and sex to be the same thing, and for there to be only two genders/sexes that are determined by our biology! Thanks so much for sharing the work you've done in advocacy programs and your process in coming to understanding.

The way that those in the community now talk about pronouns is discussing them as 'personal gender pronouns' or 'my pronouns' nowadays so as to indicate that gender isn't a preference but an identity. I say this so others who may join this thread can feel safe and welcomed regardless of what words we use 🙂

I think attitudes differ among people in the trans community with regard to society accepting pronouns. I am curious to hear others' thoughts on this. I am both optimistic and pessimistic. It makes me happy to hear cis people (those who identify with the gender assigned to them at birth) asking about people's pronouns and also space being made for trans/non-binary people in the media.

Tagging @strawberry500 and @notaround in case y'all have thoughts to share 🙂

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@ayeshasharma

@gingerw good morning to you and thank you for sharing this! I think it's only a benefit to see allies like you who outwardly express openness and interest in making an effort. Your two cents are valued and appreciated.

@georgette12 I completely agree that this problem requires education, because mainstream culture has thought of gender and sex to be the same thing, and for there to be only two genders/sexes that are determined by our biology! Thanks so much for sharing the work you've done in advocacy programs and your process in coming to understanding.

The way that those in the community now talk about pronouns is discussing them as 'personal gender pronouns' or 'my pronouns' nowadays so as to indicate that gender isn't a preference but an identity. I say this so others who may join this thread can feel safe and welcomed regardless of what words we use 🙂

I think attitudes differ among people in the trans community with regard to society accepting pronouns. I am curious to hear others' thoughts on this. I am both optimistic and pessimistic. It makes me happy to hear cis people (those who identify with the gender assigned to them at birth) asking about people's pronouns and also space being made for trans/non-binary people in the media.

Tagging @strawberry500 and @notaround in case y'all have thoughts to share 🙂

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@ayeshasharma I retired from the court system, and worked in the courtroom. I sat down with my judge and had a very sincere conversation with him. As you know, it can be so intimidating in the courtroom, especially during name/gender change proceedings. We decided that for ease of the person, we heard the cases as last on the calendar, so there was privacy. I checked people in as they appeared, and always quietly asked for the preferred pronoun and how they wanted to be addressed. After the proceeding I was proud to be the first person to call them "officially/legally" by new name/pronoun/gender, and would tell them that. It was heartfelt and the gratitude was evident; my heart broke when I saw them smirked at by others in the court system. I have two close friends who are trans, and it just never occurred to me to not treat them any different.
Ginger

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