academia | advice | alcohol | American Indians | architecture | art | artificial intelligence | Barnard | best | biography | bitcoin | blogging | broken umbrellas | candide | censorship | children's books | Columbia | comics | consciousness | cooking | crime | criticism | dance | data analysis | design | dishonesty | economics | education | energy | epistemology | error correction | essays | family | fashion | finance | food | foreign policy | futurism | games | gender | Georgia | health | history | inspiration | intellectual property | Israel | journalism | Judaism | labor | language | law | leadership | letters | literature | management | marketing | memoir | movies | music | mystery | mythology | New Mexico | New York | parenting | philosophy | photography | podcast | poetry | politics | prediction | product | productivity | programming | psychology | public transportation | publishing | puzzles | race | reading | recommendation | religion | reputation | review | RSI | Russia | sci-fi | science | sex | short stories | social justice | social media | sports | startups | statistics | teaching | technology | Texas | theater | translation | travel | trivia | tv | typography | unreliable narrators | video | video games | violence | war | weather | wordplay | writing

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Honest questions about pronouns for trans friends

I wrote to a friend, who posted about their gender nonbinary identity:
I remember a time when we were young, when you spoke up about your gender identity, that struck me for its bravery and for my own realization that I wasn't able to inspect mine.

Can I ask a question, with the hope that my curiosity will come across? How do you feel when people who know and love you use male pronouns in reference to you? I struggle a lot with using nonbinary pronouns to refer to the nonbinary people in my life. I'm trying to use them with openness and with the knowledge that they mean a lot to them, *and*, I find that it feels impersonal and artificial. But I know that strict gender roles can be plenty impersonal and artificial!

I want to inspect and take apart my brain pathways that see someone AMAB and automatically use "he", and it's being a long road; and vice versa for people AFAB. Maybe that's because I'm not taking them seriously enough. But in practice, I find I often just clam up instead of talking about them like anyone else in my life.

I know it's not your job to coach me into awareness, but this is something I experience while trying to grow and undo my miseducation and prejudices, that's hard, and which I don't know how to talk about.

Labels: ,