On Pronouns, Gender Terms and “So What are You REALLY?”
I get a lot of weird questions, most of the time it’s not the question I wish I got more often. I get questions about my race, my hair, if I have found Jesus (I thought he was dead, not missing…) and if I know where to find the ____. But nobody over six or seven years old, except in very rare situations, just asks me about my gender. Everyone who “knows better” looks at my body and assumes I am somebody’s daughter, that the correct pronouns are “She, Her and Her’s,” and if they are “liberal” they assume I’m a lesbian (I prefer Sapphite, but that’s another blog all together) but if not they assume I’m heterosexual.
In reality I love when people use Masculine, Plural or Gender Neutral pronouns but I don’t really mind when people use Feminine pronouns either. I’d really like it if people would just ask the question, they could ask in so many ways!
Just to find out my Preferred Gender Pronoun (PGP):
- Whats your PGP?
- What pronoun do you like?
- Do you have a PGP?
Or to be blunt and open about gender in general:
- Whats your gender identity?
- How do you classify your gender?
- What gender are you?
I cannot speak for others, but I can speak for myself, and what I have heard from other folk who are as queer as I, It is SO much better to just ask politely then assume and be wrong. A polite question shows your respect for your fellow humans, no matter their gender and makes sure you don’t keep offending them every time you use a pronoun.
But remember these few tips to slide gracefully through gender/pronoun errors or fuax pas:
- NEVER use “It” unless told otherwise by that specific person.
- If you make a mistake just apologize, it’s not the end of the world.
- If you forget, ask again.
- Treat everyone with respect and humanity.
- When you ask, be polite.
- Don’t ask strangers or even new friends about their sex at birth, thats none of your business.
- Don’t ask about somebody’s “real name,” the name that fits their true self IS their real name.
And as far as gender terms? Child, Sibling, Partner, Date, Spouse, Parent… The list goes on. If you don’t know, use those.
Your’s in Queerness,
The REAL question should be “WHO are you really?”
Posted on December 6, 2011, in Advice, Ideas, Life, My Mind, My Past, Other, Politics, The Future, The Past, The Present, Uncategorized and tagged advice, ask, gender, help, kindness, me, queer, respect, self, two spirit. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.