Dear Geoff,

It’s fine that it’s hard for you. But that means you need to try harder.

Let me respond to a few things in your follow-up post before I leave this conversation to focus on my work.

  1. You need to stop bringing up the birth assignment of every trans person you mention or come in contact with. I don’t know if you think it’s validating, but as a trans person I can tell you: it’s humiliating and hurtful to have people you know bring up your birth assignment over and over again. You need to apologize to your young friend Magnus for dragging him into a public debate in this way. You need to apologize to Anna Nicholson, a former student you have publicly misgendered and deadnamed for syntax points. (No grammatical excuse for using her deadname publicly, by the way.)

Transphobia is not always a matter of intent, it is not an accusation that you meant to do harm; transphobia can also be, for example, your unwillingness to alter your behavior in order to avoid doing further harm. I don’t care about your grammaticality judgments and I don’t care about your good intentions at all. You either need to do better, or you need to not talk about us.

Finally, let me say my main point again for you, since you did not apparently read it: if you can’t use the right pronouns for a trans person, don’t use any at all.

With all due respect,

Kirby Conrod

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Dr. Conrod is a linguist and scholar sort of at large. They write about transgender stuff, the linguistics of pronouns, and ways to work with your brain.

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Kirby Conrod

Kirby Conrod

469 Followers

Dr. Conrod is a linguist and scholar sort of at large. They write about transgender stuff, the linguistics of pronouns, and ways to work with your brain.