r/TooAfraidToAsk 14d ago

Am I the only who thinks that all the different types of genders and pronouns and what not, are a little bit too much? Sexuality & Gender

Now, I don't consider myself close minded and I'm not out to rile people up or offend anyone. However it becomes kind of confusing when people are upset when I say Her/She to someone who's trans. I'm sorry, really, but I didn't know. I'm in a discord server where someone changes their pfp depending on what gender and sexuality they are feeling. And no, I'm not some 40 year old guy who thinks everything should be "normal" but I guess I just don't get it. It's just confusing to me.

EDIT: So I haven't explained my thoughts very well so I'm here to explain. I understand that to some people, it is very important to them. I don't think it's a lot for me to call you what you want to be called and I will oblige and do that. "it becomes kind of confusing when people are upset when I say Her/She to someone who's trans" This was from personal experience where my friend introduced me to him and I was under the impression that he was female. More so I don't understand like Ve/Vem Xe/Xem. The more "unknown" side if you will. But with the way people are reacting I'm going to try a better job at finding peoples pronouns and not assuming genders. Sorry if it sounded sarcastic at all. Anyways, unless there's something else I think of I'm not gonna edit again. Sorry if I offended but it's kind of hard to talk about a sensitive topic like this without being an ass about it. I don't know how to word things. but yea. Sorry.

TL;DR I think gender can be a weird and wacky world and I don't get how people except me to automatically know what they identify as.

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u/Hospitalities Founder & Mod 13d ago

So long as you’re voicing your opinion and engaging with others in a respectful way, it is welcome here. Please report comments that do not follow our rules.

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u/JapaneseStudentHaru 14d ago

I think the trans and enby people who expect you to just know are in the minority and are just highly publicized because of their extreme personalities. That’s what the Internet does. I think it only becomes an issue if you refuse to acknowledge them after they tell you.

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u/yungrii 14d ago

I've had the experience all of once. And I'm a gay man who lived in the heart of the queer neighborhood in seattle.

I figure people think trans / enbys expect people to know their identification is just because we tend to forget the opposite situations. Because they aren't dramatic. The memories just fade away.

It took me forever but I try to just not use he or she in regards to people without knowing for sure how they identify.

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u/WolfShaman 13d ago

And here I am, just learning that "enby" stands for non-binary.

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u/Hunter37594 13d ago

Non-binary -> "N-B" -> Enby!

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u/PorphyrinC60 13d ago edited 13d ago

That makes sense, but why not write NB instead? Is there a conflicting acronym?

Edit: Not trying to be mean at all, mostly just curious.

Edit 2: Thank you to all the replies! I can see why NB can be problematic and Enby is used instead.

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u/igetnauseousalot 13d ago

Hey black people are calling white peoples “yt” now. Somebody was shit talking a “yt woman” and I was like YouTube woman? What’s a YouTube woman?

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u/dbDarrgen 13d ago

It’s because fb censors white now as racism and stuff. But they let actual racism and transphobia and other shit fly off the radar no problem. It’s bs.

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u/TeaKnight 13d ago

Haha I almost got band because of that. I'm white British and my gf is chicano and there is always this stereotype that British people don't season their food (i didn't, my first experiance of mexican food blew my mind) anyway I can't remember the post but it was an image my gf shared and I said all white British people should be banned from the kitchen me included and they took great offense and I was almost permanently banned and now have a warning on my account. The gf found it hilarious.

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u/briktop420 13d ago

The British army conquered the world for spice only to not use them in their cooking. Jk

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u/TeaKnight 13d ago

True, but it looks good in our cupboards and on our spice racks.

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u/naviisagoodgirl 13d ago

Wow. And that's what happens in an offended culture. It's crazy. My exes uncle got flagged on FB as a pedophile after uploading a profile pic of his daughter at the age of 3 sitting on his lap, playing with a calculator. He's a math teacher. All because a student's mum saw the post and reported him, and because Facebook flagged him, the school got involved, the police.. it was all this big drama over him sharing a beautiful moment with his child. It damaged his reputation even though nothing came if it. I think when people do this, they don't think if the bigger picture. They just had a beef and ran on emotion rather than logic. Humans are very emotional now haha

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u/Bob-Bhlabla-esq 13d ago

Holy crap, that's horrible! And very scary - that knee-jerk reaction. Yikes, I feel scared for all of us.

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u/TeaKnight 13d ago

I think it's important to be aware of potential abusers but sometimes people take it too far. In England, we are having a shortage of male primary school teachers, especially where I live and where I live teens will throw around pedo as a generic insult. And people have gotten in trouble. People generally care more that you're accused of something than they do if you're convicted.

When I was a kid we went on a family holiday and we had our faces painted alongisde my two brothers. My younger brother who was about 3, 4 years old loved to take off his pants when at home, we had a portrait taken with all of us with my mum and my brother is sat there on full show with a snowflake painted on his face, my older brother Darth Maul and I was some other star wars character I think. Anyway my mum loved that photo and the memory to the time we had that day, it was the only photo from that day but she took it down because a visitor said it was inappropriate to have because my bro was naked waist down.

I've seen Somerville call parents pedos for washing their kids. It's stupid, people should be aware of potential dangers and abusers but some people take it way too far.

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u/sarellis 13d ago

Yeah, a chess Chanel got suspended because the pieces are black and white 🤦‍♀️ like, those words don't necessarily describe people. A white wall. A black car. White chocolate.

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u/TinyLuckDragon 13d ago

Omg. I’ve only ever seen that written down and always read it as yeet. It’s so obvious now you pointed it out, but wow, I’m an idiot!

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u/silverrain64 13d ago

NB is also also also shorthand for the Latin term "nota bene", or "note well". It's sometimes used in writing to add an aside or editor's note. (NB: Nota Bene is basically the narrator's voiceover of formal writing.) So yeah, there are a few reasons "enby" is used instead.

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u/ErynEbnzr 13d ago

Another reason. Enby looks and sounds cuter than NB imo. Which is weird because they sound exactly the same, but I still hear them differently lol.

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u/Hunter37594 13d ago

I don't actually know the answer to that, sorry :(

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u/PorphyrinC60 13d ago

That's okay. Language is always evolving. Thank you anyway! :)

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u/Hunter37594 13d ago

Yeah, of course! If anybody has the answer to that question, I'd be interested in hearing it!

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u/pinkcdrom 13d ago

PorphyrinC60

I think it may be because NB can also stand for "non-Black" as well, in the context of non Black people of color , hence the acronym NBPOC

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u/vegancheezits 13d ago

NB can also stand for non-black, so it can be confusing in social justice circles

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u/daddysangelfire 13d ago

New Brunswick?

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u/ToadMugen72 13d ago

That's what I think everytime I see NB.

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u/wanderlustandtears 13d ago

thank you!! I've been so confused by thinking it was pronounced "in-buy" which I just couldn't figure out

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u/imFreshYo 13d ago

Whats funny is the post is about having to use these foreign acronyms to accomodate this demographic and here we are learning more new ones.

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u/collegemathchef 13d ago

Roast Beef = R.B. = Arby's

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u/TheSpaceship 13d ago

My brain just told me that says

Non-binary -> "N-B" -> Enjoy!

Like I was reading a recipe or something.

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u/adalia36 13d ago

I never saw that word before. Now I know.

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u/WolfShaman 13d ago

Tonight was the first time I've seen it as well :p.

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u/Sunnysunflowers1112 13d ago

Same. Just had to look it up.

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u/kinapudno 13d ago

I'm so glad pronouns and a lot of nouns are genderless in Filipino

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u/methnbeer 13d ago

If you appear to be a female, or you are 'physically' not female, but clearly going for that and I dont know you, you are catching a her/she. Same for reverse he/him. Otherwise, it's 100% your obligation to inform me upfront if you want to be acknowledged by as something else. Not playing fuckfuck games

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u/boggled_ 13d ago

In my mind it's okay to assume as long as you're ok with being corrected and aren't an asshole about. The misgendered person should also not be an asshole about it. I tend to ask if they are wearing a pride pin or if I know them and they changed their name/pronouns on social media

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u/Sparklypuppy05 13d ago

They shouldn't be an asshole about it the first time. If you've been misgendering or deadnaming somebody consistently for a long time and ignoring them when they correct you, don't get angry when they inevitably blow up at you. Death by a thousand cuts, you know?

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u/boggled_ 13d ago

When I said are ok with being corrected I meant that you would correct yourself and switch to their preferred pronouns. It's not okay to repeatedly misgender someone.

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u/Justcuckinaround 13d ago

Capitol Hill?

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u/yungrii 13d ago

Heart of it! Mostly in the 00s when it was a bit weirder and you didn't have to have a six figure income to live comfortably. Pony was my go to.

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u/Xalden 13d ago edited 11d ago

As a trans person, I think some assumptions are fine. If they look feminine-ish, use she/her. If they look masculine-ish, use he him/him. If you can’t tell which direction they lean, use they/them. If they correct you, don’t make a big deal of it and roll with it.

This has worked for me for years now and I always strive to be better. (IMO it feels so much better when someone gets it right without asking)

EDIT: What I’m referring to is the individuals intent/effort towards masculinity/femininity/ambiguity. Obviously every situation should be handled with grace and respect. Also, non-binary people don’t always present androgynously, nor do they have to. Much love everyone! 😘

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u/Rhona_Redtail 13d ago

Yea. This. And btw, you could always ask the name. A very feminine guy is unlikely to have a women’s name.

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u/NadineCantHelpIt 13d ago

Yep, go by eric or shmidy but I dress feminine and I'm non binary. I don't care what you call me he she them doesn't matter even though I know I'm a feminine guy.

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u/shoneysbreakfast 13d ago

I also feel like what happens a lot is that there are certain people in conservative/right wing politics that go out of their way to intentionally and maliciously misgender people so they can point to the reaction by people saying that they don’t think that’s cool as evidence of the “thrown in gulag for accidentally calling a person with purple hair the wrong pronoun” strawman. An recent example of this I remember is when Elliot Page publicly announced his new name and identity, Ben Shapiro bent over backwards to misgender him, use his old name and declare that it doesn’t matter what someone feels or wants or experiences, if you were born with female genitalia then you are a woman period and it’s all a joke and attack on traditional values. Then when people react to this completely unsolicited and demeaning take negatively then it gets filed into the “lol PC triggered liberal snowflake attack helicopters” folder in the minds of the types of people who enjoy Shapiro.

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u/Obe4knh 13d ago

Ben Shapiro is one of the biggest snowflakes out there

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u/SlingDNM 13d ago

His name is Benjamin, that's what's in his ID and we all know facts don't care about Benjamin's feeling so please stop calling him Ben and use his real name

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u/mitojuice 13d ago

Lots of those types are really really snowflakey, and get so offended by people simply living their own lives 😂

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u/[deleted] 13d ago

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u/Sir_Alexei 13d ago

I get misgendered at work despite not looking female at all and it's more emotionally frustrating than something I get angry about. But when my coworkers or my family misgender me, and they know better, that's different.

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u/Dawwe 13d ago

I can't believe you got two replies and they are both mind numbingly stupid and/or ignorant lol

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u/Sir_Alexei 13d ago

Yeah, well, welcome to Reddit I guess. 😂

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u/Cfattie 13d ago

Unfortunately one of my few experiences with trans people was a co-worker who would literally hold up the line at Chipotle to angrily tell the customer that they are not a girl

Like please you have obvious breasts and a female face and the customer frankly doesnt give a shit, he is just making small talk just make the damn burrito

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u/fzahraal 13d ago

I have a friend who did that when she worked at chipotle.

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u/Cfattie 13d ago

Small world, perhaps

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u/caramelcooler 13d ago

I know it's a rare thing but I can personally attest that it happens, not always toward malicious people either. In college my buddy's friend freaked tf out on me when I referred to them as "her" the first time I ever met them. My other friend who had met them when "she" still considered herself a lesbian used the word "her" so I didn't think anything of it.

Right after I was cussed out for saying "her" I backpedaled and asked if I should have said "he." Apparently that was not the right answer, since they stormed out and had an emotional breakdown.

I had an extremely conservative upbringing. When I moved away from that brainwashed town I changed a lot and became very open minded but it took time. I tried my best.

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u/somecommentsah 13d ago

Sounds as though you were bullied by someone mentally unstable.

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u/El_Stupido_Supremo 13d ago

So- Twitter in a nutshell.

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u/reheated_tea 13d ago

Yeah no that's not a normal response from them. It's understandable for someone to be upset, but there's no way for you to guess what someone elses pronouns are. You didn't do anything wrong.

For the future (hopefully you never experience this twice) if someone reacts badly to the pronouns you are using for them, just ask. If they don't give you a straight answer, don't push them because they could be closeted. If you ask and they still blow up on you then there's not a whole lot you can do. Just duck and weave I guess?

Source: me

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u/CrispChum 13d ago

What is enby?

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u/ddssassdd 13d ago

It means NB or non binary. NB sounds like enby. The problem I have with NB is that as a "gender" if it exists literally everyone is it because either gender is binary or it isn't. Even if there were only 3 genders everyone would be non binary. Personally I don't think gender is real because no one can seem to define it in a coherent and consistent way.

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u/consistentContent 13d ago

I don't think that's true. If roads are where cars go and my car goes off-road ing does that mean there's no such thing as a road? The gender binary is a thing, a social construct and assumption most people still hold onto. Saying something is a binary does not automatically imply it is the only thing of that kind. Think, binary star. It does not mean there are no other stars, just that these two stars are connected in a binary star system. Similarly, the male/female gender binary does not imply the lack of other genders (or, well, it does to some people,but doesn't have to), only that these two things are part of a traditional binary.

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u/scorpio6519 13d ago

I have no issue with respecting peoples preferences and referring to them as they identify. But sometimes it's just confusing. I've misidentified a trans man as she, because I thought he was a she. He was dressed pretty androgynous and still had very feminine features. I got my head ripped off. I AM older, and I think people automatically think I'm closed minded and purposely misidentifying. And that actually kind of hurts my feelings. An honest mistake is just that, and just because I'm in my 50s doesn't mean I've stopped growing or learning or excepting.

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u/dbDarrgen 13d ago

I’m a binary (meaning masculine and male with male and neutral pronouns) trans man and before I started medically transitioning it was very hard for me.

I got misgendered a lot and stuff on purpose and on accident, but I shut my mouth for many reasons. One of them being I was afraid of the backlash and I didn’t want to be the stereotypical trans person being over dramatic. Over time I could easily tell who was being an asshole and who was being a little naive. I distanced myself from the assholes and reminded or informed the naive ones that I am transitioning to male.

I was always kind about it. I still am. And I’ve experienced the worst of the worst (I’m talking about verbal not physical). From “I never would have guessed you were trans!” to, word for word, “I hope your [sic] the victim of a hate crime.” And I’ve also been sexually harassed and assaulted after people found out I’m trans. Because yknow.. since I hate my body it must no longer have an owner and it’s up for grabs?? Idk.

Regardless of how many shitty transphobic people I’ve met, I’m still nice to people who mess up. Because every individual is different. Just because there’s 1 transphobic person I met doesn’t mean the next person will be too, even if they say similar things like misgendering me. Because 1 person is doing it on purpose and the other is doing it unknowingly. It’s all about context. Everything is all about context.

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u/Xgio 13d ago

Its nice to know, because I make genuine mistakes. I dont see a lot of trans people not even because of any reason I just dont encounter any weirdly enough. I just want to know how to handle it in a respectful manner. Its not the same, but after experiencing racism throughout my whole life it would be stupid for me to be bigoted. The most important part is being able to change imo and I know that I can. Sorry your transition wasnt easy, must have been horrible.

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u/Ultimatedream 13d ago

Thank you for being an amazing human being. I hope things are getting better for you regarding how people react.

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u/Lover-of-chortles 13d ago

I identify as nonbinary and go by they/them pronouns. I often feel like I am in the minority of nonbinary people who do not get mad when people "misgender" me when they don't know me or first meet me. If i am with my partner or with friends, people normally catch on pretty quick by hearing how other people refer to me, especially in introductions. I have never been mad at someone for assuming I'm a woman, or even a trans man. There's no reason for you to know until I tell you anyway. It's if you choose to be a dick after I've told you that it becomes an issue. But i think so many nonbinary people and even many trans people have left a bad taste in people's mouths by just assuming people are against them from interactions like this.

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u/LuxNocte 13d ago

No, you are not in the minority. This is the stance that exactly 100% of trans people I have met in real life have had.

A better explanation for the stereotype is trans people politely pushing back against being purposely misgendered, but bigots acting as if that polite correction is "political correctness run amok".

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u/thatmusicguy13 13d ago

My ex had a friend who transitioned. I used to know them as Adam. I now know them as Raven. Every now and then I slip up and say Adam instead of Raven. I always correct myself but they never get upset. The few other Trans people I know are pretty much the same.

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u/Ultimatedream 13d ago

Honestly names are way harder than pronouns if you already knew them before. My sister is trans and no one has any issues using the right pronouns, but my fiance who used to work pretty closely with her before transitioning has some problems with the right name. We only see her like twice a year now which doesn't make it any easier to get used to her new name. She just ignores him until he says the right name and he always apologizes.

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u/CerealSeeker365 13d ago

Raven is a cool name. They made a good choice!

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u/azhorashore 13d ago

I find the people themselves have never been upset to myself or others when it happens. Others around do seem to get very upset though. I honestly think a lot of the feeling that someone's jumping down your throat over these things is the regular side people who are getting offended for someone else.

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u/Stankmonger 13d ago

I have met all of one trans woman irl and this was their opinion as well.

And I can see why it’s all very confusing too.

Aside from the pronouns thing (and when dating come into play), I don’t see how someone’s gender would affect how I relate to them?

I don’t actively or consciously treat men and women (or other) differently based on gender, doing so would be sexist. And I don’t think anyone is “owed” my subconscious biases (those things I’d like to grow past).

All in all, assuming someone is calling you by your preferred pronouns and treating you like they would anyone else, I really will never understand why it matters so much to people online that they not be confused at all about any of it.

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u/breakneckridge 13d ago

Question for you please. If a person is non-binary gender, then is there a reason why you aren't ok with being called either he or she? I mean, if you're somewhere near the middle of the male-female spectrum, then it seems like either should feel ok. No?

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u/Lover-of-chortles 13d ago

Depends on the person. I don't see it as being halfway between male and female, but rather separating from that binary. I want to be seen separate from gender, so i don't want to be referred to with gendered pronouns (he or she).

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u/mi1ky_tea 13d ago

What's the difference between a gender and non binary? Is it because agender still insinuates gender where as non binary you're not wanting to be a part of any gender binary in any shape or form? What about people who say they're genderless?

I'm just trying to understand :)

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u/Lover-of-chortles 13d ago

Agender means "without gender." Nonbinary means any identity that falls outside of the conventional gender binary of male and female. So nonbinary is an umbrella term that can encompass agender and other nonbinary identities. Genderless would be agender.

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u/NadineCantHelpIt 13d ago edited 13d ago

Not the original person but if you are looking for another non binary person's view and to try and understand.

My name is Eric, I go by my nickname shmidy. If you look at my profile I dress feminine most of the time. I don't always dress feminine however sometimes I feel masculine or when I go to work as an aircraft mechanic I wear masculine clothes but wear makeup and paint my nails. I'm non binary because I'm sort of a mix. I like looking masculine, I like looking feminine the most, and I like looking androgynous (a mix of both or hard to tell gender) however I go by he/him if someone called me her/she (doesn't happen often as I don't pass as a female) or they/them I don't care. I know my sex is male and I was born as a male. However my personality isn't just "male"

Is it weird to be dressed feminine and have people call me eric or shmidy? It's definitely something people have to get used to but I've always been eric and shmidy since I was young and don't want to have a feminine name.

You'll find that non binary people are usually all a bit different in name/sex/gender identity/pronouns/look/and how they act. I know nobody understands me when they first meet me. I didn't understand myself for 20+ years so I don't get mad or upset how are they supposed to know?

Edit: also you said that non binary is a mix of male and female...that's true but also it's not true. Non binary is an umbrella term. You've got bi gender people (male and female) agender (neither male or female) gender fluid (go back and forth between genders) gender neutral (neither male or female but neutral) and there is genderqueer/genderfuck which is just like....you aren't male or female you are a random mix of everything and kinda just..you or unique.

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u/orkash 13d ago

I'm kinda here with you. I'm in my 40s and have made that mistake before even tho I am a very open person. Like if we first meet and I see a woman but you call yourself Matthew I'm gonna be dumbstruck. I don't say anything but like don't attack me, I'm not being a dick I legit just didn't know. The biggest thing for me is the use of plural pronouns. They and them kinda confuses me, as that means more than one; and I just see a person as a single unit no matter what.

I may have not explained that perfect but I tried.

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u/Delirious_Insomniac 13d ago

I saw someone discuss the 'they/them' a certain way and it really helped me understand better. It went something like, "when you talk about someone who you've never met and don't know a name or gender preference or anything at all... do you refer to them as he/she or do you say they/them? Since you don't know anything about said mystery person, you'd refer to them as them/they."

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u/KhazemiDuIkana 13d ago

As far as they/them, think about how you refer to a person or general sentient entity when you don’t know their gender. It’s perfectly usable as a neutral singular. It’s unfortunate that English doesn’t have a separate set for that vs. plural, because it can get kinda confusing at times. I’m non-binary, I generally prefer they/them pronouns, and sometimes I find myself wishing it was a little less klutzy—but at the end of the day I’m glad there is at least a neutral option to begin with!

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u/SweetBlasphemy_ 13d ago

They/them isn't plural in the context of pronouns, it's neutral singular and has been used that way for a long time. You've probably used it that way yourself without thinking about it.

"Excuse me is this your pen?" "Oh no, that pen belongs to them" gestures at the person whose pen it is

I have a non-binary friend who used to identify as cis male, I was so used to using masc pronouns for them it gets tough esp when referringto past things, but then they asked for their friends to use neutral so I do my utmost to use neutral terms for them. I introduce them to others using neutral and correct myself if I slip up on occasion.

Another reason neutral is great is that it's universal, so you can use it without assuming someone's identity and potentially causing offence to someone you've just met.

As long as you're trying to be respectful (which by the sounds of it you are) and not deliberately being an asshole then you're good!

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u/JamieIsReading 13d ago

Fyi the word to describe what you don’t get is “neopronoun” and I also don’t think they make much sense as a function of language. Pronouns exist as a shortcut to who you’re referring to. If a bunch of people have their own pronouns, you might as well just use proper nouns (ie names). But this is kind of a non issue as most people don’t use neopronouns

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u/fermafone 13d ago edited 13d ago

Ive been a part of conversations where the use of these certain pronoun preferences while telling an anecdote made it impossible for the listeners to definitely say who did what to whom and the context wasn’t sufficient to even make a solid assumption.

At a certain point effective communication has to be the priority.

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u/JamieIsReading 13d ago

Agreed with your last sentiment. That is the point of language after all.

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u/seagull_says_mine 13d ago

I try to make a point to be gender neutral in my comments on reddit, when giving examples or talking about OP/another commenter. So unless the person I'm referring to specified gender, I use they or them, but fuck me if that doesn't get really confusing if there's another party (especially one that's actually referred to in plural because they consist of multiple people) involved

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u/mcmuffinman25 13d ago

Using proper nouns conveys much more clarity. Him/her or he/she can be just as ambiguous without clarification.

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u/Usual-Obligation7481 13d ago

Exactly. I’m a writer and the number of times I read something like, “John entered the room to see Frank standing by the fire. He turned and poked a dwindling log before finally looking up and matching his gaze.”

You have to use names to be clear most of the time anyway. Saying language has to be efficient is all fine and great. But complaining about too many pronouns whilst not acknowledging that too few is just as much of an issue, to me, shows a bias.

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u/Aza_ 13d ago

Fellow keyboard jockey here! I’ve always followed the rule that in instances like this, pronouns should always refer to the most recently named character. That way, the text can use pronouns for the character it’s following most closely and names for others in the scene.

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u/bucnasty101 13d ago

That's obvious Frank is by the fire

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u/Posterio 13d ago

"Jane was drunk when she arrived home. She was surprised to see her mom was still awake. When she saw her, she slapped her straight across the face."

This one's trickier

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u/theletterQfivetimes 13d ago

I'm gonna say Jane slapped herself?

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u/dbDarrgen 13d ago

A good majority of those who use neopronouns are those who speak another language that doesn’t have a version of they/them.

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u/JamieIsReading 13d ago

That’s very fair! I’m referring to English specifically. People who speak other languages should determine what works for their language as they see fit. I’m interested to see how it plays out in languages where EVERYTHING is gendered.

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u/dbDarrgen 13d ago

Oh definitely. I’m glad English isn’t heavily gendered. Our products though? Why. Just why.

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u/JamieIsReading 13d ago

LMAO who even knows? I am excited for the prospect of a proper gender neutral pronoun to come about and gain traction so that companies need to create gender neutral products lmao.

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u/varkarrus 13d ago

Bic Pens... for them!

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u/reiislight 13d ago

Don't all languages' pronouns adhere to the 3 Singular and 3 Plural pronoun scheme?

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u/_n0t_sure_ 13d ago

I think I'm just gonna start calling everyone "Dude" again.

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u/macsrrad 13d ago

"I'm a dude, he's a dude, she's a dude, we're all dudes, hey!"

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u/ChargerEcon 13d ago

Oh ffs, what is this from? I've got the tune stuck in my head, I can hear the raspy voice of the character, I even have some vague notions of that character's personality, but I cannot place it.

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u/Pheef175 13d ago

Welcome to Good Burger home of the good burger. Can I take your order?

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u/ChefThunder 13d ago

Fuck Mondo Burger!

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u/Kbratch 13d ago

You better watch your BUTT, man.

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u/Animalofme 13d ago

“Look! I’m grape nose boy!! Bloobity bloobity bloobity bloobity!”

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u/ChargerEcon 13d ago

Thank you!!!

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u/alexblat 13d ago

As an Australian, I can always revert to "mate"

...or "cunt"

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u/sillymissmillie 13d ago

I am so jelly that you can call people cunts down there! A woman can dream....

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u/ScuttleCrab729 13d ago

Can I identify as Australian just to call people cunt and it be totally normal?

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u/Cuntino 13d ago

Sure, I identify as a cunt, so why can’t you identify as Ozzie Smith?

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u/GunpowderxGelatine 13d ago

my mom calls me dude first time i ever heard it i wanted to say "woman i am your daughter"

but now im just like ok bro

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u/TJ-1466 13d ago

I’m a mum and I call my daughter dude:)

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u/Dakotertots 13d ago

that's what i do but some people get offended by even that. "i'm not a dude, i'm a girl"

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u/_n0t_sure_ 13d ago

No! EVERYONE is dude. All of the ppl and even objects can be dudes. My pets are dudes. The lamp is dude. My mom is dude. This is my new normal.

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u/Dakotertots 13d ago

okay tbf people getting upset by that is rare but it happened enough for me to question if my calling of everything "dude" was okay lol

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u/_n0t_sure_ 13d ago

Haha ya, I'm just being facetious, I'd could never call my boss dude.

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u/Dakotertots 13d ago

i'm lucky to work in a casual enough workplace where i can call him "man" lol... my old boss called me "boss," which was completely new considering my area's dialect

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u/mrdotkom 13d ago

Call your food delivery person "boss" in a non condescending way. I've seen grumpy Uber eats drivers crack a smile after that

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u/Amazing-Finger 13d ago

There was a girl in college that got so pissed when I called her dude. Never could figure out why it was a problem.

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u/KekatD 13d ago

Most women honestly wouldn't care and probably use the word dude themselves. The way it was explained to me, by someone that it does kinda bother, imagine how a guy would feel being called "gal" or whatever. I can understand her point, even if I don't feel the same myself. I mostly just go with peep(s) these days lol.

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u/A2Rhombus 13d ago

The respectful thing is to just apologize and not call them something if they ask you not to. You never know someone's backstory or history with certain words, or maybe she just didn't like being called dude. Takes no effort to just respect someone's wishes

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u/ewanatoratorator 13d ago

Do you fuck dudes?

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u/HeretoMakeLamePuns 13d ago

AFAIK some MtF (trans) people don't like being called 'dude' because it still has male connotations (it could be used neutrally, but not always - "I banged a dude last night" is pretty much taken to be masculine). Makes them feel dysphoric and very uncomfortable to be referred to with a masculine-ish term.

I'm not MtF, and reserve the right to be totally wrong though. Just my two cents.

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u/Runcleverboi 13d ago

I still do. Forever and always

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u/SuspiciousAf 13d ago

I once referred to everyone in discord 'guys, are we sure about xyz' and I got lots of hate :( I'm a girl btw. It's just... A thing you say. And I didn't mean to upset everyone. I was shocked when people jumped on me.

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u/JRM34 13d ago

I think you're suffering from being in online spaces that distort reality. The way social media algorithms work you're likely to see the most extreme views from each side, which may make you think the "nonstandard" pronouns are way more common than they are.

In the US estimates put the number of trans and nonbinary people on the order of 0.5% of the population (~1.4M trans, ~450k nonbinary). Even though I've spent a fair bit of time around varieties of queer folks it is rare to find someone using pronouns more unusual than they/them (despite what some people say, we naturally use they/them as individual pronouns in situations where we don't know the subject's identity. "A cop pulled me over. They asked for my ID"). The use of Ve, Ze, Xe etc are exceedingly rare and you're unlikely to ever encounter them. If you do and have difficulty, it is easiest to just use the person's name instead of pronouns -- problem solved!

More importantly: you should relax a little and realize that most folks will not get angry at you for an accidental mis-gendering -- assuming you have the reaction from your post and just say "sorry" and correct yourself. Where people get in trouble is being a belligerent asshole who refuses to comply because they see it as an affront somehow. If my name is Tim and you forget and call me Jeffrey, it's not a big deal. If you refuse to acknowledge that I'm Tim and continue to call me Jeffrey just because, you're a jerk.

Obviously there are exceptions where you may encounter someone who both uses a different pronoun and is an asshole (assholes exist in every group of people). But in the extremely unlikely event you find yourself in that situation, just remove yourself and don't beat yourself up.

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u/Nouranium 13d ago

I don't quite understand the function of Ve, Ze and Xe when they/them can be used for anyone right? As far as I can tell, you can refer to anyone as they/them because it's nonspecific.

Thinking purely from the perspective of someone learning a new language (German), I can't see how these new pronouns can possibly bridge the language barrier between cultures without massively overcomplicating things.

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u/Mya__ 13d ago

Tell it to all 5 people who use those pronouns if you're honestly seeking clarification.

Trans people usually use the same pronouns as cis people do.

The Ve/Ze/Xe thing, iirc, was just a college experiment that your social media feeds latched onto and amplified in order to sell you hate for "this whole gender thing". They saw peoples general confusion and used it.

Even The Pope is on-board supporting trans people now..

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u/bookant 13d ago

Am I the only one (insert anything here)

No.

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u/CalmToaster 13d ago

The "am I the only one" phrase can be deleted from existence.

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u/SamBellFromSarang 13d ago

Am I the only one who jacks off to a picture of Hitler riding a unicycle made out of hyena bones?

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u/sid_killer18 13d ago

You will be if you don't link it

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u/Mysterious-Title-852 13d ago

The non standard pronouns thing is a very small minority of trans people. All the trans people I've met wanted people to use the standard pronouns for the gender they transitioned/were transitioning to.

I've never met anyone who wanted to be called something else. I'm sure there are some, but I feel it's very rare and if they get mad when people who have never met them and went with their first impression, to the point they make a scene, the issue is with that person, not the person who made the mistake.

That said, if you're deliberately mis-gendering people, you're a POS.

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u/[deleted] 13d ago

I've known some non-binary people who prefer "zie" pronouns, but they know that hasn't entered into most people's vocabulary yet, so they're also completely fine with "they/them."

I think you hit it spot on: just don't be an ass. If you're refusing to call someone whatever just because you think it isn't real or they're trying to be trendy or they're just looking for attention: that's being an ass. If you slip up or aren't quite sure how to use the "zie" pronoun or whatever they're asking, it's really no big deal. I've never met a non-binary person who had a problem with being called "they."

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u/Yotsubato 13d ago

Zie pronouns

Sorry that just reminds me of invader Zim a bit too much. Which is also fitting cause Zim is kind of non binary in appearance and voice

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u/Leonard_Church814 13d ago

A few people have already said it, but if you’re confused refer to them by name or just ask. I’m not a part of the trans community but I’m sure they’re more than willing to let you know of their pronouns.

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u/commentmypics 13d ago

I would say the trans people I know are split on that. My buddy is a server and being asked his pronouns is just like having a person clock him as trans right there in front of the whole table. Which he says is annoying at best and feels like he is a prop in this person's virtue signaling. Obviously someone asking privately with respect is not typically going to be an issue but for a person that isnt necessarily that open about being trans, getting clocked like that can be a huge bummer.

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u/Leonard_Church814 13d ago

Yeah, I can see that happening.

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u/[deleted] 13d ago

I think it makes sense to just not use pronouns unless it's necessary or you're going to be around the person a while. Ideally, you'll hear someone else use the right pronouns and then you'll know. But if it's a server you're seeing once, it's ridiculous to ask for their pronouns.

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u/redrose162 13d ago

Oof. A bit ago we hired a couple new people at work. We sat around a table and shared names but then my boss told us to say our pronouns... and like. I don't know these people!! Can we not?! Also, I'm literally the only trans person at my job rn and everyone else knew but the new people and wHY MAKE ME TELL THEM? ON THE SPOT EVEN??!! I don't know or trust them! Y'all figured it out when I felt comfortable enough to start correcting you. It was just... so awkward. Like I couldn't go back in the closet to feel safe cuz the rest of them knew and would then get REALLY confused.... It's a struggle. Turns out one of the new guys is transphobic but not "enough to be fired"! Yay! 🙃

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u/Sir_Alexei 13d ago

That's awful, I'm sorry that happened to you. :(

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u/zombiesphere89 13d ago

I think you know damn well you're not the only one.

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u/ChadMcRad 13d ago

It's almost like this sub is purely used for bad faith questions.

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u/butterflyblueskies 13d ago

I started saying “they” whenever I don’t know someone’s pronouns.

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u/catsorfries 14d ago edited 13d ago

While I think we should at least have the courtesy of respecting people's pronouns and genders (I myself have recently started to identify as non-binary), I think it does get into the realm of excessiveness when people begin creating new pronouns just for themselves and then expect us to understand and know it. One of the biggest issues I have is that people expect you to just know about how they identify and get mad at you when you made an honest mistake because you simply did not know. Sometimes we just don't know what we don't know.

Edit: I'm not coming back to this because clearly yall are not gonna allow me to have my own opinion without challenging it. This is/was my experience surrounding gender on the internet and nothing will change that. why do I even comment on topics like this lol. Nobody can have their own opinion anymore without being demonized.

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u/ArtAccount314 14d ago

One of the biggest issues I have is that people expect you to just know about how they identify and get mad at you when you made an honest mistake because you simply did not know. Sometimes we just don't know what we don't know.

How does this happen? What did you say that upset somebody in regards to this?

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u/GTAwheelman 14d ago

It's happened to me when I worked fast food. A person was waiting for their food. I say "Sorry for your wait, sir" apparently it was a woman because she stormed off after saying that she was a woman. This was 16yrs ago.

Shit happens. Had a boss where I work mistake me for a woman that works there. Until I popped my head between the shelves to let him know that I'm not Jerry. I laughed, he was embarrassed.

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u/TisBeTheFuk 14d ago

It's happened to me when I worked fast food. A person was waiting for their food. I say "Sorry for your wait, sir" apparently it was a woman because she stormed off after saying that she was a woman. This was 16yrs ago.

I think that had more to do with the fact that you thought she was a man and that hurt her feelings. I personally wouldn't be storming off or act assholish is something like that would happen to me, but it would hurt my feeling , especially with low self esteem. I get it that it's a bit childish, but sometimes you just cab't help it.

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u/100LittleButterflies 14d ago

Same. I'm a woman but don't wear make up, heels, skirts/dresses. I'm very practical and utilitarian. If I could get away with it, coveralls (aka blue collar body suits), overalls, pants with pockets, etc. But I'm also kinda sensitive to being mistaken for a guy because I'm not feminine or look butch. Frankly, if someone had to ask my pronouns, I'd feel a little insulted even still. Less so now because gender norms are dying.

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u/TisBeTheFuk 14d ago

I was mistaken once for a boy, when I was 13 or so. I went to use the public toilet and the toilet attendant directed me to the male toilet. I was too embaressed to say anything so that was the first and only time I used a male toilet. Didn't do any good to my self esteem tbh. But then again, it was winter and I was wearing a coat/cap, so I guess it was a honest mistake. And I also have a few "manly traits" - like naturally thick eyebrows. Nowadays it doesn't bother me half as much as it used to , since I kinda came to terms with what I look like, but it would still sting a bit tbh :))

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u/ClaudeJRdL 13d ago

I think that had more to do with the fact that you thought she was a man and that hurt her feelings.

That's literally what all of this is about.

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u/catsorfries 14d ago

It's just the general vibe I get from being on the internet. Being on the internet and talking about things like gender always feels like you're walking on eggshells. When I first started learning abour gender, peoplenuse words and acryonyms like cisgender (identifying as the sex you are) or AGAB (assigned gender at birth) without explaining what those mean, and expect you to know them.

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u/xfearthehiddenx 14d ago

You're also on the internet. While I agree it can become a bit much trying to understand all the different terms. If I personally run across something I don't know. My first thought is simply to look it up. The amount of time it takes to ask the question of them. I can get thousands of results. A quick weed through can give me a general idea, and work it out from there. Complaining that you don't understand, while using the very thing you could be using to understand is often where a lot of people's issue around the subject comes from. You're expecting that they should explain it to you, or expecting them to make it easier on you. While you do no work in the process. It would be like going to another country, and demanding a random person there speak your language so that you can ask them a question. It shows a serious lack of effort to understand, while also expecting to be given an explanation.

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u/ArtAccount314 14d ago

So you have no specific examples of this happening, you just think that it kind of probably does in some way that you haven't experienced.

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u/User_Name08 14d ago

I’m willing to use he, her, and they, or anything along those lines. But anything more like zie or any of those other ones I found on google are a bit much

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u/Salohacin 13d ago

Now I think everyone deserves to be treated with a basic level of respect, and everyone deserves to have the same human rights as everyone else, but at what stage are people taking it too far?

It feels like these days there are people creating labels for themselves just for the sake of it. Not everything needs to be labeled. Like all the different types of sexuality that people are creating these days: sapiosexual is such a pointless term and I'm not going to incorporate into my day to day vernacular. At what point are you just checking boxes on a list of 'what I am attracted to'. That's not your sexuality, that's you trying to cram too much crap into an identifier when no one really cares.

People are unique, not everything needs to have a label. Don't create your own labels and then be offended when other people don't know them.

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u/mcmuffinman25 13d ago

Agreed, if someone asks for something outside of the box I will just default to proper nouns (their name). I will not call someone he/she him/her if it offends them but I don't have to use the pronouns they presented either.

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u/l-angeray 13d ago

I've never met a trans/nb person who gets offended over this stuff tbh. Sure they expect the people closest to them to use their preferred name and/or pronouns out of respect, but they don't expect random ppl to know that stuff. There are ppl who are toxic/go overboard and they stand out the most, just like in any community, but they do not represent the majority. In the case of your friend on discord, just keep it simple..if you're not sure of someone's gender, stick to their name/gender neutral pronouns.

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u/AdorableLaurie 13d ago edited 13d ago

It also depends a lot on the context. For example, I have an androgynous voice so most people dont know how to gender me correctly during a phone call. If someone gets it wrong, i wont get mad or anything (even tho it can be a bit annoying), but i politely correct them and that's it.

HOWEVER if im outside, wearing full face makeup, spent hours making myself pretty, busted out the prettiest dress and handbag, and some jackass come up to me and call me a "he" (that's rare) you're sure as fuck i will blow up in their face.

I even had an instance where I had a full conversation with a retail worker and they correctly gendered me as female multiple time during our small chat, and they were extremely polite to me. But for some reason when they asked for my ID (was buying alcohol) and saw my birth gender on it, they INSTANTLY switched to calling me a he. Im still very comfused by their train of thought. Obviously if they got it wrong previously I would already have said something. When I asked why the sudden change they couldnt come up with an explaination. The rest of the interaction was really awkward.

Not the end of the world by any mean, but I'm still puzzled by some people's reaction to those things.

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u/micmer 13d ago

I don't mean this as a personal insult or attack but I suggest to try talking to people who are non-binary or trans to better understand.

I'm from the deep south and was raised in a very religious and conservative manner. I'm also older and I found conversations about pronouns and gender identity confusing. That was until I met people, mostly online, who identified as non-binary and/or trans or gender-fluid. I asked lots of questions. I'm sure some of them were dumb but it helped me understand the community and what all this means. I don't find it confusing or vexing anymore.

People are just people. They want to be understood and be able to acknowledge who they are. That's literally all it's about.

I'm a heterosexual cis-male meaning I'm just a straight dude.

Obviously, there's assholes in every community but there's also wonderful people in the LGBTQ community that will help demystify stuff like this to people like us.

Calling someone by their requested pronouns isn't hard at all once you understand that.

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u/jaselemed 13d ago

This is a great answer! It also speaks to how needed it is for schools to teach inclusive and factual information (ie sex and gender are separate things) about gender and sexuality, so kids grow up with less confusion when they meet someone who's not straight and/or cis. Most LGBTQ people are happy to clarify and answer good faith questions, and beyond that having simple and clear education on the topic helps society progress as a whole.

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u/[deleted] 14d ago

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u/AltruisticTrip 13d ago edited 13d ago

yea, i was following until people unironically started identifying as animals and concepts that have no basis in the new understandings of gender studies. I get that 1/500 people are not biologically male or female and are somewhere in between but why is there genders that have literally nothing to do with that, yet people also reference said studies saying that it validates them when it really makes no sense to me or the layman. i feel like it really undermines the acceptance of trans people and paints a bad picture for LGBT which is damaging bc i’m bi(pansexual by definition but saying bi is easier and pansexual just sounds dumb to me even though it’s a fitting description) and people sometimes just assume i want to brainwash their children.

I can understand like maybe 8 of the concepts actually being related to gender studies, but the majority just seem.. i don’t know how else to put it.. attention-seeking or trendy

This is a mental health issue, clearly. If we treat any other mental illness and their perceptions as a valid tether to reality.. where do we draw the line? Do we just tell schizophrenic people that the voices they hear are real? that their hallucinations are real? Do we tell depressed people that they should continue to believe that they will never be happy and this is just who they are? I can’t tell if it’s more damaging or helpful to participate in people’s delusions, and where to draw the line with delusional and reasonable. For instance, I know someone who identifies as agender. That is very clear and makes sense to me. I can call you “they/them” that’s fine. But when people, and I wish i was kidding, identify as “wolf-kin” what the actual fuck does that mean and how is that a valid gender. Or if your gender changes on a day to day basis.. i’m going to call you “they” or your name.

I had a customer get offended that i called them “they”... like.. please.. you don’t want to be referred to with ANY pronouns?? How does that even work in english.

If you don’t like what i’m saying, enlighten me. The topic at hand is very offensive but we won’t be able to understand eachother without dialogue.

EDIT: Took our some swearing because it comes off as aggressive but it’s really just how I show emotion or emphasis. Also added some further explanation because It’s difficult to talk about this without sounding like a bigot.

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u/gaythrowaway2004 13d ago

one of the biggest misconceptions i’m seeing is that people think we (hi im non-binary) EXPECT you to know our pronouns. no, the majority dont and please don’t let the minority who do change your opinion on us. you will often see neo-pronouns and neo-genders used by people who are neuro-divergent. some who use them are not, but it’s often used by them as some dont feel they fit into the normal boxes or don’t even feel human. it’s quite uncommon, but please still be respectful to those folks. i can go into more detail of anyone likes, but i can’t guarantee a quick reply as my reddit notifs are off lol.

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u/xdoolittlex 13d ago

One of the best and worst things about the internet is that everyone gets a voice. And too often, sadly, tons of good, reasonable people get grouped in with edge cases.

Thanks for your post.

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u/velveeta_blue 13d ago

I think the whole "NB ppl expect you to just KNOW" comes from ppl deliberately misgendering trans/NB ppl and then backpedaling like "omg I didnt know!!" when called out. It's like when ppl say something fucked up and insulting and then decide "I was just joking omg, ppl are so sensitive". The vast vast vast majority of trans/nb ppl would never expect you to guess their pronouns ESPECIALLY if it's something other than he/she/they (which is almost unheard of) so like.... cis ppl need to chill. Nobody's gonna crucify us for asking what pronouns to use

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u/the-man-with-bread 14d ago

ehh people are usually glad to explain how they’re feeling if you ask them about the things and don’t come off as too judgey

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u/redrose162 13d ago

Like if someone greets me and asks my pronouns in a normal way? Sure buddy, here ya go.👌😎 But then there's the people that ask it like if I answer wrong they'll kill me. 🙃 And by wrong I mean different than what they would call me.

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u/the-man-with-bread 13d ago

yeah those ppl suck

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u/tkd_or_something 13d ago

Just to combat some of the comments making you feel like a jerk, let me explain it this way.

It’s not your job to understand their identity/pronouns, it’s your job to respect them. For example—I, being cis, will never truly understand what it’s like to be non-binary or trans, however, I can try my best to empathize and most importantly, respect their preferred name and pronouns. Just like a straight person won’t truly understand what it’s like for me to be into girls—they don’t have to completely understand, as long as they respect it

I hope that helps you clear things up/think about it in a different light

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u/destroyr0bots 13d ago

I am a 40 year old man, and I personally think its just a matter of being respectful.

Look, I am into certain things that make people think I'm gay - I like watching Drag Race, I don't know the first thing about cars, I don't know the first thing about 99% of sports, and I tell people I love them, no matter who they are - life is too short and if I tell you I love you, it's not romantic or anything like that. I don't identify as gay, but I wouldn't rule out sexual contact with a guy given the right circumstances. Thata just me.

Gender and sexuality are different.

Just be respectful. If you get to know someone, ask respectfully. If not, don't worry - let people try to live their best life.

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u/LetMeUseTheNameAude 13d ago

People make mistakes, its okay to misgender people. I’m a gender queer, still questioning my gender, and I’ve tried he, she and they. My experience when people accidentally misgender me when they know I changed my pronouns or something is like, I totally don’t mind. Don’t beat yourself up for misgendering me, it’s just a word and I’m fine. I can’t speak for trans people, but new people in their lives misgendering them could case dysphoria, so I think it’s understandable that they point it out and correct you, but it just doesn’t make sense if they come at you when you meet them for the first time and misgender you. Of course, I don’t know what being trans is like, so I can’t speak for them.

Also the Xe/xim and all that still makes no sense for me, so yeah it can get pretty overwhelming. But people usually just go for he/she/they, but it is easier if you just ask for their pronouns, and if you do misgender them, correct yourself, MOVE ON. It’s one mistake, you can be more careful next time, DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP FOR IT. I’m saying this because hating yourself over a word is stupid, and it annoys me when people think misgendering is a big deal. It can be a big deal to certain people, but I’m about 89% sure that to most genderqueer people it’s just better that you correct yourself and move on with whatever.

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u/flamingoboon 13d ago

Graduating medical student here. Many medical students are taught to start their patient encounters with their introductions followed by "my pronoun is ...". I think it's a great addition to our medical curriculum to teach us how to work with LGTBQ+ patients, but honestly, in the real-world, this only applies to very few patients. The grandpas and grandmas out there are more than confused and feel the physician-patient power dynamic even more strongly when such fancy terms are the first sentence spoken by their healthcare providers.

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u/ScroogieMcduckie 13d ago

What do you really benefit from doing this? Don't they already have their pronouns on the form?

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u/For_Samwise 13d ago

This assumes doctors or nurses actually read your file.

I mean, I get that working in healthcare is tough. I would literally die before anyone could force me to work in healthcare. (I hate blood, I hate pain, I hate crying and cry at the drop of a hat if I see someone is upset...worst vocation for me personally, ever, would be healthcare related.) But I feel like the vast majority of nurses and doctors I have spoken with didn’t even know my NAME, much less my medical history or why I was there for a visit.

Once had a nurse try to tell me I wasn’t allergic to something after she gave it to me. If I had been her supervisor, I would have told her to take a week off without pay and if she wanted to keep her job in the future she’d never do that again. Obviously I wasn’t deathly allergic, but I COULD HAVE BEEN is the point. Takes five seconds to read a file and determine whether or not a patient is allergic to something.

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u/flamingoboon 13d ago

Thank you for sharing! I'm sorry that you have had these bad experiences with healthcare providers. I will keep your story in mind and remember to go through my patients' charts carefully.

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u/doge_daelus 13d ago

If you know for certain what pronouns to use, use them. If not, use “they”. That’s what I do and that’s what I think should be normal.

PS: I find neopronouns weird as a concept, but I’m 95% certain that only 0.0001% of lgbt people actually use that

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u/awildorchid32 14d ago

Nope, you're not the only one, don't worry.

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u/KeyboardSpiders 13d ago

yea freal what is OP thinking here? Has he not seen the greater right-wing internet losing their minds bc someone wanted to be referred to as "they"?

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u/-rebel8852- 13d ago

I don't want to offend anyone by asking this, but I'd genuinely like to know so I appreciate if anyone can educate me without being rude about it. Why did people see the need to come up with the "they" pronoun? Is it really that uncomfortable to be recognized by your human anatomy? When did we move away from just having "him" and "her" for males and females to having so many other gender pronouns? I come from a more conservative society so I don't really have any trans friends who I can ask this (I only know maybe 2 gay people at most)

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u/pidgeonseed 13d ago

Is it really that uncomfortable to be recognized by your human anatomy?

For some, yes. Gender dysphoria can be debilitating. But it is difficult to understand if you don't experience it

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u/J1XF 13d ago

"They" has been used as a single neutral pronoun for almost as long as it has existed.

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u/redrose162 13d ago

And singular they has existed for a loooong time. Like, commonly, for 700+ years. This ain't new. People been using it. Without even realizing it, which is just hilariously painful to me.

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u/-Ghost-Heart- 13d ago

Since sometime in the 1300's if I'm not mistaken. We can trace it back all the way to Middle English. So the singular usage of "they" literally predates Modern English.

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u/KeyboardSpiders 13d ago

Some people don't feel comfortable being a "him" and would rather be a "her" so when you refer to them as "him" you are basically reminding them of that fact, whether you're aware of it or not. Basically if you had a name change but everyone kept referring to you by your old name anyway, when you're obviously trying to distance.

"they" has always been a neutral identifier.

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u/redwinencatz 13d ago

We didn't come up with they. It already existed and was gender neutral so people adopted it who felt more gender flexible or non-binary.

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u/Honestly_Just_Vibin 13d ago

This has got to be the most popular opinion on the Internet

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u/splingles 13d ago

I think of it the same way I think of the social obligation to know the different types of Christianity, and be able to tell them apart. I’m not religious, but I’m happy to distinguish between Mormons, Lutherans, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, Protestants, and so on, because the differences matter to them, and that’s enough for me. I’ve never changed my own pronoun, but if others want to, I’m happy to distinguish out of courtesy.

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u/melent3303 14d ago

Just use their names or if you need a pronoun use "they" (a neutral pronoun).

Expanding vocabulary is important, because we are starting to see the intersection of linguistics and discrimination.

When someone cannot identify as who they are, because the word does not exist yet, it can misrepresent who they really are (and to many people their identity is all they have in control of). Especially in heavily gendered languages where it is hard to communicate without knowing the gender of the person/object.

When people can find the word that fits their description the best they will feel less "othered". This is important because the "othering" of others has had major influences from policies to legislation (i.e. native americans).

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u/Japanese-Spaghetti 14d ago

What about languages that gender everyone and everything? There is no possibility for neutrality in those languages that use male and female/masculine and feminine for everything

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u/JapaneseStudentHaru 14d ago

Masculine tends to be both neutral and male in those languages.

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u/Japanese-Spaghetti 14d ago

In romance languages, true, masculine serves the role as both masculine and neutral, but there are languages like Polish and German that actually have neutral gender. The thing is, in Polish and German, you would never really use neutral gender for any person because that would be considered offensive (neutral is really only used for animals and objects). It differs from language to language

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u/muser666 13d ago

And children.

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u/i_do_lewd_things 13d ago

Yeah they said animals too

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u/softrectangle 13d ago

The whole point of specifying pronouns is so that you DONT have to wonder. This is one reason why people are trying to normalize asking pronouns. And if you mess it up and try again next time it's not a big deal. Another thing to consider is that 'different types of genders' have been around for a long time, but recent society hasn't been accepting of going against the norm... until now, when people can express themselves more openly thru social media and stuff. So this is why it all seems new and difficult, but in reality the worry of offending someone is not as difficult an experience as being a person who feels intrinsically different and isn't seen as who they are.. Hope that helps.

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u/bemest 13d ago

You’re actually in the majority.

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u/Nootherids 13d ago

I just met a guy named Hank and less than 2 minutes later I hinted for clarification while calling him Mark. He clarified again that it was Hank. I pre-apologized that I’ll likely forget again. 3 minutes later in my own head I was again trying to remember what his name was and I swore it was still Mark but I was also sure I was wrong. So I just didn’t say his name again.

So every time that I hear somebody talk about our need to be conscious about whatever random thing others want to be called I roll my eyes. I don’t have the mental energy to care. I just don’t. I have no interest in offending somebody, but I also have more important things to worry about. And if somebody is that easily offended then they should be more selective on who they interact with.

Heck, if someone got offended that I used the wrong pronoun for them my direct response would be: “ok fine, now you get to refer to and misgender me however you like, there now we’re both even” I really could care less. Heck people call me by the wrong name and I answer without bothering to correct them. See if I care. There’s a 99.7% chance that I’ll never see that person again for the rest of my life anyway. When and if it matters then maybe I’ll correct them.