pronoun espionage

a digitally altered screenshot of a healthcare “details about me” page, where the text is chopped up and scrambled a bit
  • I’m a linguist. Sorry, yeah, it’s always going to be the first thing on lists of why I do whatever I do. I’m a walking sociolinguistics experiment, and I find it very interesting to see what people do when left to their own devices. I just like kind of mentally keeping track for… personal research reasons, essentially.
  • Whether someone proactively asks about my pronouns gives me information about the training they’ve received regarding trans healthcare.
  • Whether someone asks my pronouns tells me a bit about how they’re interpreting me, just as much information as them taking a guess without asking. Sometimes asking is a bad thing, by the way — if someone pointedly asks me and no one else, that tells me something about how they’ve internalized ideas about transness (or whether they are parsing me as trans)
  • If someone asks my pronouns and then repeatedly gets it wrong, that gives me information about some of their unconscious biases that they might not be aware of
  • If someone gets corrected (storytime on this below) and keeps messing up, that tells me a lot about how seriously this person takes things like my autonomy or my input on the care they’re giving me.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
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.