How can we make asking preferred gender pronouns a normal thing?

Rhinobaby Rhinobaby
I am used to asking preferred gender pronouns when making introductions in group settings at my college, but I wish there was a way to do this and not have it be so AWKWARD in "real life" settings. Has anyone ever introduced themselves, stated their pronouns, and been greeted with blank stares? How do we change this?
12/03/2013
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sexilexi29 sexilexi29
I think it will be a long time before preferred pronouns are a common part of an introduction. It's definitely not the norm. However, in the queer community, at least among my friends/acquaintances, it does seem to be pretty common. In terms of gender expression, I lean more towards the feminine side so I have never had issues with pronouns but one of my past partners uses neutral pronouns and that can be an issue. Among out friends and the activities we are involved in, preferred pronouns are a standard part of an introduction but in society at large they are often, as you said, greeted with blank stares. My advice: include preferred pronouns because 1. a little initial awkwardness is better than the incorrect pronouns and 2. the more we talk about it, the more widely accepted they will become.
12/03/2013
Ansley Ansley
This might get me flamed right off the site, but I think it's the trans* person's responsibility to ask to be called by the pronoun they prefer instead of relying on everyone else to automatically ask.
12/04/2013
SaucyxGirl SaucyxGirl
I would gently correct the person. Think of like when a child or non native speaker makes an English mistake, you gently correct without being rude or mean.
Mar 6, 12:53 pm
VAl0984 VAl0984
Quote:
Originally posted by SaucyxGirl
I would gently correct the person. Think of like when a child or non native speaker makes an English mistake, you gently correct without being rude or mean.
I Agree with your statement
Mar 9, 4:06 pm
VAl0984 VAl0984
Great topic
Mar 9, 4:07 pm
Darner Vosque Darner Vosque
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
This might get me flamed right off the site, but I think it's the trans* person's responsibility to ask to be called by the pronoun they prefer instead of relying on everyone else to automatically ask.
But even then--people don't expect pronoun introductions. I find that they aren't used to being told what pronouns to use for people, especially when those pronouns are different than what they would have intuitively used. It makes it awkward for all parties involved.
Mar 9, 11:31 pm
Typosable Typosable
Adjusting people who aren't used to this issue is going to be a gradual thing. I've given my pronouns while introducing myself and been met with the same indifferent or bewildered looks, but if it continues to be an issue I've gently corrected people in private and they usually seem to catch on! A lot of people really just aren't familiar with trans or nonbinary identities or haven't encountered them in their own lives - being calm and casual about it when you first meet them helps to prove that it really isn't something they should be startled by or make a fuss about.
Mar 16, 8:27 pm
GroompyGhosts GroompyGhosts
Quote:
Originally posted by Typosable
Adjusting people who aren't used to this issue is going to be a gradual thing. I've given my pronouns while introducing myself and been met with the same indifferent or bewildered looks, but if it continues to be an issue I've gently ... More
Totally agree with this!
Mar 21, 10:19 pm
eroticmutt eroticmutt
I think that the most sensible thing to do is to simply refer to other people as Them, Their or They if you're unsure about their preferred pronoun. Realistically, no people are not asking everyone what their preferred pronoun is and while it could be nice it would ultimately be better to refer to people using the neutral pronoun that is socially acceptable rather than making up something crazy that isn't even a word. No one blinks an eye if you say the elderly person (gender unspecified) dropped their hat. If you say they dropped gir/ze/ish hat then, well, it's just kind of unnatural and doesn't really prove anything that saying their won't prove.

I haven't gotten blank stares either - when I was first beginning transition I had to correct people when they called me by the wrong pronoun, but that time passed and now I don't have to deal with it.
Mar 24, 6:44 am
Total posts: 10
Unique posters: 9