intermediate pronoun studies: how do I make people stop misgendering me?

a simple drawing of kirby in a yellow jacket with purple hair pointing at a chalkboard that says “pronoun studies: question time!”

Observation 1: a lot of the time, sending a barrage of links and leaving them to it doesn’t go how you think it will

Advice 1: share concise, curated vetted, practical resources

Observation 2: if someone is chronically misgendering me, they are also chronically crossing other boundaries I have

The pronouns are one thing among many, the unifying theme being this: we know you better than you know yourself. We know better than you what’s good for you. When you resist our advice or contact with us, it’s selfish and disrespectful. You have no right to make choices we don’t approve of.

Advice 2: be observant and alert about your feelings and boundaries

Observation 3: sometimes people interpret attempts to enforce boundaries as attempts to control their actions

Advice 3: don’t tell people what to do, just tell them how their actions make you feel

Observation 4: I have a really different feeling about being misgendered now than I did for the first five years I was out and transing. It’s really context-dependent.

Advice 4: pick your battles. Expect that it will change over time

Observation 5: your feelings are real. The feelings usually run deeper than the pronouns — the pronouns are a symbol of something else that’s really wrong.

Advice 5: Honoring your feelings is the best way through. Sometimes you’ll have to cut your losses. No one but you can know when that’s necessary, though

“IF IT SUCKS… HIT DA BRICKS!! real winners quit”

— da share z0ne

Conclusion: Woo this got a little heavy.

Here’s the tl;dr:

Here’s the good news:

If you’d like to read more of my writing about pronouns, you might like my other posts on medium!

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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

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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