Being misgendered sucks. But being misgendered when you are clearly presenting as a specific gender sucks more than I expected.
I figured it would happen some. I mean, I’m not stupid: that’s a lot of force of habit for people to get over, and even the best intentioned of souls slip up. (Shoot: I still slip up with one of my friends who prefers the gender neutral pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them.’) And for the most part, I don’t think I’ve been any more awkward or upset about it now that I have come out at work about being transgender than I was before I came out at work, and was faking that I identified as the gender I was assigned at birth.
But there’s this one guy. And he uses my dead name, to my face, and when I pointed out that I didn’t like being called that and preferred my chosen name — or at the very least, my nickname (which hasn’t even changed!) He responded by telling me it was okay because he was only repeating what he said in a conversation he had with someone else when I wasn’t around. Because it’s totally okay to throw out my chosen identity if I’m not there to protest it? And if you repeat it in my presence I’m not supposed to be bothered by the fact that you’re doing that?
Or today, where he was explaining what he was thinking about a problem, and when he got to the part where he was thinking about what I had already done about it, he goes: “And then I thought, no he already did that.” (Emphasis mine.) I interrupted to say ‘she.’ He looked at me blankly for about half a second, and then walked away. (I had already told him what he needed to know to resolve the problem before he decided that I apparently needed to know all the stuff he’d already tried that hadn’t resolved the problem and why he’d tried it.)
It’s… frustrating. There’s another coworker that I’m pretty sure is ignoring me completely now. I’m actually okay-ish with that: he’s not someone I want to hang out with, and I wasn’t comfortable around him before I came out. But I’m not okay with the realization that I’m being… snubbed? I was more okay with being forced into awkward conversations than I am with the realization that I’m working with someone who would rather ignore me because of what I am than continue their misguided attempts at being personable. Add to that the guy who consistently misgenders me, and it’s just… uncomfortable around here.
And I know, I know: a lot of people have it worse and I’m actually in a pretty good position, all told. But I still wish it were better, and it still bothers me that this sort of behaviour happens. (It particularly bothers me that the misgendering guy doesn’t understand why misgendering me to someone else is not any more okay than misgendering me to my face.)
Ugh. Anyway, I’m getting ranty and I don’t really want to be all ‘woe is me’ when I know there’s a lot worse stuff out there for people, including myself, to be upset about and expend energy over. Thanks for putting up with my venting.