Hey Peeps, I’m apologizing in advance because I about to display my ignorance… I’d met some transgender folks through my children in the past then recently someone dear to my heart came out to me as transgender, hearing those painful words of self loathing broke my heart.
But that’s not where my stubborn ignorance comes into play…
And let’s be honest, I can be pretty fucking stubborn–especially when it comes to word usage. Some may call me petty, some have called me petty, and I say to them “Bite Me.” Okay, so now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, here’s my dilemma.
There’s no fucking pronouns for transgender individuals.
If this doesn’t seem like a big deal, try having a conversation without using pronouns…Not so easy is it.
Currently, transgender is being promoted as a unique gender classification which actually makes sense to me. Gay and straight men and women, still consider themselves male and female, he’s and she’s, him’s and her’s. Transgenders from what I gather (i.e. my ignorance) are trans…A distinct and separate gender classification.
But there aren’t distinct and separate trans pronouns.
And this is making me fucking crazy! And screw jacking the gender neutral ‘they/ them/ their’ shit… Yeah, I said it. It’s fucking wrong:
They, them, their/s are plural pronouns; used singularly only to make generic or abstract personal references…
Peeps, my friends and family, the people I care about are not generic or abstract… It might make me be a dill-hole and I’m probably wrong, but I refuse to refer to them that way… Fuck that shit. They deserve better. They deserve their own words.
Adding another layer of confusion to this linguistic shit pile is the many transgender identities. In addition to male and female, there’s genderqueer, non-binary, gender-fluid…. for those that identify with both genders; agender, non-gendered, gender-free, genderless…. for those who identify with no gender; plus all the humans who just don’t fit into any nice neat category.
Then there’s the external conundrum; when someone’s appearance doesn’t match their gender identity– e.g. outwardly female but self-identifying as male–referring to them as ‘he’ is a mental hurdle I stumble over…
I’m not being an asshole or denying your innate guyness. I’m totally down with celebrating your virtual cock (preferably in a bar over a pitcher of beer.) I happen to like cocks and think they’re pretty spectacular. This is (for me) a brain thing. It’s matter of conflicting sensory information. If you look like Malibu Barbie (or skipper for that matter,) the hardwired language centers of my brain automatically default to female pronouns (or male if you look like Grizzly Adams,)…sorry…not trying to be an asshole.
So where does that leave us?
…Hopefully in a bar, getting cocked-up, brainstorming to find uniquely trans pronouns that are neither generic, abstract nor dehumanizing.
2 Comments Add yours
This is a tough one, especially for writers, I don’t want to give offense or make people uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the result is too often silence, which isn’t helpful either. And I suspect the solution is often based on the individual, which is fine in terms of relationships, but awkward when speaking of/to someone you don’t know.
Yep, it doesn’t help that there’s no consensus within the LGBT community. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of language conventions catching up to the changing times. I’d personally like to see a pronoun invented for other. That would give me a way to speak/write without asking prying questions or making innocent but insensitive assumptions.