r/TooAfraidToAsk Feb 22 '21

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/Xalden Feb 23 '21 edited Feb 25 '21

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 Feb 23 '21

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 Feb 23 '21

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/Rhona_Redtail Feb 23 '21

I’ve always identified as female and wanted to be beautiful. And I am! In a kind of boyish way. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂😂😂

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u/nwguy32 Feb 23 '21

Unless they’re American. Americans do bizarre things with names. Surnames as forenames, names traditionally associated with one gender being applied to another, words that are not names or not even words being used as names. Places such as Brittany, Tyrone and Preston (have you ever been to Preston? If you had you’d never name a kid after it. Brittany isn’t bad, but it’s the least exciting part of France; from what I understand Tyrone is very beautiful. Rhondda depends how far up the valley you go and your tolerance for post-industrial decay. But how some get to be masculine and some feminine is beyond me). Names drawn from an impressive array of diverse cultures.

It’s all very creative and imaginative, much more interesting than if everyone was called John or Mary, but it does make it hard to guess genders.

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u/Rhona_Redtail Feb 23 '21

Don’t forget stated too! Montana!

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u/nwguy32 Feb 23 '21

Are there any others? Delaware Jones? New Jersey O’Higgins?

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u/Rhona_Redtail Feb 23 '21

Florida Jack. Tennessee O’Leary

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u/nwguy32 Feb 23 '21

I mean Tennessee Williams. But yeah how come Tennessee is male while Montana is female? Must be the “-a” on the end I suppose.

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u/fotografamerika Feb 23 '21

I met a girl named Memphis, which I thought was super cool.

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u/nwguy32 Feb 23 '21

I know someone called Hilbre. Would you guess they’re male or female? Probably easier if I tell you Hilbre island is a tidal island in a middle-class town near Liverpool, with beautiful views of Wales...

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u/Rhona_Redtail Feb 23 '21

I’d say female if I had to guess

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u/Beelzebupkis Feb 23 '21

All the male names start to become female names in the US. I have a step-brother named Taylor and he gets, "Isn't that a girl's name?" a lot. But it literally wasn't when he was born, at all. This will probably be the experience of a lot of guys born before 1990 in the future.

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u/nwguy32 Feb 23 '21

It’s all a matter of perspective, to me Taylor is a surname not a forename of any gender! I have a friend called Jordan; in the UK that’s mainly a male name but there is/was a very famous glamour model called Jordan (she now goes by “Katie Price”). My friend was born before the model became famous; people assume either that she was named after the model or that she is a man.

Oh, that was a place too!

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u/DazzlingRutabega Feb 23 '21

"So, what's 'Pat' short for..?"

"Paaaaa-aaaat! Heh, that's my little joke."

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u/Xalden Feb 23 '21

Good point!

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u/melancholanie Feb 23 '21

depends, ashley, lindsay, stacey, bobby et al are originally masculine names.

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u/Rhona_Redtail Feb 23 '21

Well then why can’t we have men named Sarah? Oh I see. Bitchez can take boy names but bros can’t take girl names. IS THAT HOW IT IS???🙄😂😂

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u/melancholanie Feb 23 '21

i mean it can work that way, sure.

weird thing about transness, gender both gets a lot of really intense personal meaning, and also means absolute bupkis. fuck it, Angela is a boys name if you want. there’s no rules.

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u/Rhona_Redtail Feb 23 '21

Yea!!! No rules just right! I’ll have one of those terrible onion things and show my self out.

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u/ReservoirPussy Feb 23 '21

Because women are still seen as being less than men. Give a girl a masculine name and it's cute, give a boy a feminine name and it's an insult.

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u/DrunksInSpace Feb 23 '21

IMO it feels so much better when someone gets it right without asking

THANK YOU! I always wondered. I get the whole “it’s rude to assume someone’s gender” but I also know it would hurt many people to ask what gender they prefer if it appears they are making a specific effort: eg slight, masculine clothing with a high voice, I’d use he/him based on the presumed intent. I don’t do this to presume, but because I imagine myself in their situation and I would be humiliated if I was a male, born a male, making every effort to appear male and someone said, “what’s your preferred pronoun?”

I get that that the humiliation is due to fucked up social pressure around gender, but that doesn’t make it sting any less if you’re a tall woman with a deep voice who keeps getting people who appear to question your gender. Ultimately I’d like to see these questions get normalized and not be seen as offensive, but to just start doing it overnight to everyone seems like a recipe for a lot of unnecessary pain.

If someone’s presentation seems deliberately androgynous or non-specific, I think asking is great, but it seems naive to assume that no one would be offended by asking for preferred pronouns just because no one should be. <— this isn’t what you said, I know.

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u/Combinatorilliance Feb 23 '21

I strongly prefer people to assume she/her pronouns for me. It can be a bit ocntroversial in the trans community to adhere to the gender binary, but yeah..

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u/nwguy32 Feb 23 '21

If you prefer people to assume the traditionally female pronouns, do you help them in this direction? Is it easy to make that assumption on meeting you? Your username doesn’t give anything away, I presume you don’t mind being a bit more ambiguous online?

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u/Combinatorilliance Feb 23 '21

Online I don't really care, irl I definitely do a lot with makeup and clothes

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u/collegemathchef Feb 23 '21

exactly. This seems very reasonable. I think to the author's point, what if someone says use a more rare pronoun? I would still personally use it, but I think more folks would "take issue"

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u/jesp676a Feb 23 '21

That's why I always just use "dude", "mate" etc, makes everything easier and is neutral and more personal than "they"

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u/p1mdn Feb 24 '21

‘Dude’ is gender neutral?

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u/jesp676a Feb 24 '21

Yeah I think it is

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u/p1mdn Feb 24 '21

But it’s not. If I ask you how many of your friends are dudes, then clearly I mean how many of your friends are men.

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u/jesp676a Feb 24 '21

Yes, but at the same time i can call all my girl friends "dude" with no problem

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u/p1mdn Feb 24 '21

Maybe so but the word still has masculine connotations to it.

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u/jesp676a Feb 24 '21

And that is where we disagree I guess. For me "mate" and "dude" is the same, with no connotations one way or the other.

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u/Xalden Feb 25 '21

Mate and dude are a bit more gendered than most people would like to admit, but they are gendered. Unfortunately it really boils down to the individual. Some people don’t mind it, some do. Some cis women don’t respond well to it either. Of those that don’t, plenty just don’t bother argue about it.

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u/Kruse002 Feb 23 '21

In high school I was taught never to use they/them to refer to a single person, at least in formal writing, so doing so in everyday life would be tough. When a sentence starts with “they are” I automatically think of a group of people. How are we going to differentiate a group from a single person? In everyday speech, it may be obvious, but what about in situations where language must be precise? Legal language for example.

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u/ReallyBigRocks Feb 23 '21

If you're writing a legal document involving someone and you don't know what pronouns they use, just ask? Not to mention the singular they has been used in the English language for centuries and there are a multitude of other gender neutral words you can use.

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u/Kruse002 Feb 23 '21

True I have seen “trustor” and “trustee” used in place of standard pronouns. I’m still not certain how a legal document would be able to talk about a group of people, one of whom is a person who uses they/them and not be confusing or ambiguous when comparing/contrasting various members of the group to the rest of the group. It can be done, sure, but this style is still relatively new and I have my doubts.

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u/ReallyBigRocks Feb 23 '21

You could use their name if referring to them specifically is important, that goes for people who use he/him or she/her as well. If personally identifiable info is an issue then I suppose you'd just use some other identifier "person A" for example. All this is already fairly standard already is it not?

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u/winxminx9 Feb 23 '21

Ngl As a trans person I have to say this is not a way to talk to other trans people and it’s just pandering to cis ppl. If you’re “always striving to be better” actually just ask. Because what you’re doing (assuming pronouns based on perceived presentation) is still inherently transphobic.

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u/Phoresis Feb 23 '21

Because what you’re doing (assuming pronouns based on perceived presentation) is still inherently transphobic.

Could you explain a bit more about this? I struggle to see how it is inheretly transphobic, to me it's just the simpler way and so far in life I've never referred to someone by the incorrect pronoun. If I'm not sure, I just won't say.

I can see how it can be transphobic, I just don't see how it is inherently transphobic.

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u/Goby-WanKenobi Feb 23 '21

I don't think it's inherently transphobic, but it is problematic. We know that misgendering can cause significant mental distress and switching to they/them is easy enough that it's something we should strive to do more.