Saturday, June 28, 2014

Transgender Blog Challenge Day 8: Misgendering

Today's question is:
How do you deal with being read misgendered in the beginning of transitioning by people?

I'm typically not misgendered in the general population anymore because I've been on hormones for a while.  I am still chronically misgendered by some relatives, especially my father (which is crushing because I live with him and therefore have to hear it all the time).  I don't deal with it well.  I very rarely say anything.  The reason I don't is because the misgendering is less obnoxious than hearing him whine about how "hard" it is.  The whining about how allegedly difficult it is to change like three fucking words in your daily conversation after having known for ten years has so far been worse than the actual misgendering, as much as the latter sucks.  It's a comfort trade-off and most of the time I just avoid interacting with him in public so at least the bulk of the misgendering isn't in public where I'm largely stealth.

I can tell that the rest of my family doesn't truly see me as male.  I avoid thinking about it but I don't usually have to hear about it.

Now, early on I was misgendered much more often, and that was pretty crushing because I was trying so hard to pass, and to make matters worse when there were things that I didn't want to change (like my earrings), people would nitpick about them as if they were the sole reason.

Again, I didn't really deal with it outside of the queer community, and that was a result of an extreme fear of confrontation and transphobia.  Calling out cis people in the general population for their ignorance is extremely difficult for me because cis peoples' insufferable whining, devil's-advocate-playing, concern trolling, and ignorance stresses me out so much it literally gives me backaches.  This is also one of the reasons I'm so block-happy on social media and don't allow comments.  Cis people are remarkably difficult to talk to for me.

That said, in class I just let myself be misgendered, at work I just let myself be misgendered, I just let my family misgender me, and as far as transition goes that's probably my biggest regret.  Having not asserted that correct names and pronouns are important I basically gave them license not only to continue to misgender me--even in public, even though I now have a beard and a deep voice--but anybody else they feel like misgendering.