Friday, January 25, 2013


Photo courtesy of vanderwal on Flickr
So you try it. Try to get through a whole day without using a personal pronoun for the person you love. You think it's easy, right? I mean, who hard can it be to say, this person over here will have the Caesar for dinner. R has suggested this. While he's still not passing, we're in this never/never land, this in-between state. He's a he, but he's still presenting as a she. I'm getting to be OK with this. And I think he's OK because in his head, he's already a man. Has always been a man, (that's the point, right?) but his body is changing to match what's in his head. So it makes sense for him to want me to call him a he. And yet, it's awkward. Right? It's confusing in my brain. Because inside my little head, he is kind of still a she, even though he's never really been a she. See? If I complete that sentence any more, it will be as twisty as my thoughts. But the hard part is some people still know him as a she and some people still perceive him as a she. So if I say he, I get a funny look or a look of flat out confusion. And I get a dirty look from R. So do I really want to explain to the flight attendant that oh, he's transitioning? No. Do I need to? No. Do I feel compelled? Kind of. Kind of . Do I care? No. I don't care. I only care what R thinks. It's just confusing. Sometimes, even I find myself referring to a friend and inside my brain, the thought zips through: is that a girl or a boy? Gender. Gender. Gender.


  1. I think if R's prounoun preference is "he", that it is totally appropriate to refer the R as he. Especially if you don't care what anyone thinks. If people are confused, that is OK. You don't have to explain. If people ask polite questions, seeking to understand, that could be a unique learning opportunity for them.

    My biggest goal to overcome this year is how to refer to my gender neutral friends. Society programs us to put everyone into a "he or she box". My whole life I have been programmed to refer to people as he it she. Saying they, or them, or referring to them only by name, when it is awkward to do so, is a learning process for me. I'm open to it. It I'd just hard to shake years of programming.