Being misgendered

I have read a lot of blogs where people get really upset if people use their dead name. I do not get upset if people still use my former name when they slip up. They have known me for a long time and in their mind I am J. It is good if they realise and change it or correct it, however I am aware it is not deliberate and it does take time for changes to take hold.

One of my work colleagues who has been in the vanguard of telling people this is Emily constantly refers to me as Emily, “he “ will do this or “he” has done that and my colleague is quite oblivious that he is doing it. Other colleagues point out what he is doing and I do sometime call him “her”, however it has no effect and it is not malicious in any way. Other colleagues have absolutely no difficulty and have picked up my name immediately and never slip up.

What does irritate me are the people in shops who deliberately “Sir” you. I am clearly presenting female and even though I may not pass in the full meaning of “passing” I am not a man in a dress. It is usually said in a way that clearly indicates a kind of disapproval,  “your not fooling me Sir” manner. It just seems to me so unnecessary to say it. Others just say nothing; they will say “thank you” or “here is your change or whatever” without any sir or madam. Then there are people who are just lovely and call you “love’ or “dear” or some other familiar term often with a smile and a friendly look. One shop assistant where I go from time to time will make comments about my nail polish or something similar as a gesture of acceptance. Being treated like that is always a pleasant surprise as I do not ever expect such a response.

With those people I have regular contact I do not see the point of insisting people get it right every time when they are trying. With those that deliberately misgender me I do not feel the need to rise to their bait and cause an argument. If they are people I see regularly I would just not see them should they persist. With strangers it is a one off and not worth getting steamed  about, their loss.

Then of course just as an example, the colleague who cannot get my pronouns right introduced me as J to a new contact today who later sent me an email to Dear J. I replied and said that as he was checking out my company he wouldn’t find me as I was transgender and had changed my name to Emily so when he looked me up he would only see references to Emily. Then I signed the email Emily. He replied Thanks J I will be in touch tomorrow.

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