Editor’s note: Althought not specifically leather/kink related, I like this article because regardless of the skin we wear or the sex we have, we can all use an occasional primer on personal interactions.
I generally don’t talk or write that much about my gender here…or really at most places ’cause I’d like to think that those who’s opinions on me I really care about already know in some manner. I’ve done a lot of workshops related to the topic (gender and gender identity that is, not MY gender specifically) because although I don’t really fancy myself an “educator” in any way, I as a member of the trans and genderqueer communities, would like to think that people in general have the potential to treat people like us with respect if they are informed, and given the opportunity. In that spirit, I’d like to offer my cisgendered friends the following (hopefully helpful) suggestions:
If the subject comes up, and I tell you that: a)I identify as trans/genderqueer/gender-fluid, and that b) my pronoun of choice is “she” just respect what I just said, and TRY to remember it.
Again, I’m pretty up front about my gender identity if asked, and I am generally really easy going as far as pronouns go. Slip ups happen. All I ask is that people try to remember. However, if I tell you my identity and pronoun of choice and you start making me prove it, or say some BS thing like “you don’t LOOK trans we’ve got problems.
If you screw up on my pronoun and identity, apologies are fine, but don’t make excuses, don’t try to blame me, and just simply don’t do it again.
On a related note, if you have a question about what pronoun a friend of mine goes by, don’t ask ME, ask THEM!
This is honestly not so bad when it comes to crap people do. It’s just that if you have a question about someone’s identity, and you’ve got it in you to ask it, why not just ask the person? Just ’cause I identify as trans doesn’t mean that I’m going to know how another trans person identifies. Even if I do, more often than not I don’t want to be put in a position where I’m talking about, or speaking for someone else. Save yourself a step, and spare me the risk of feeling more awkward and just ask the person. if they say they don’t wanna talk about it, just move on but I’m not another trans person’s spokesperson.