3

This is a serious question.

Submitted by BernieSanders in Queer

If I have never met you before and I stumble onto you in the street, then how am I supposed to know you arent male or female? Especially if I have only ever known 2 genders.

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11

Calistoga wrote

"Knowing" at first sight isn't very important. Why does it matter? Not everyone has to (or wants to) broadcast their identity with shirts, slogans, grand proclamations, or some kind of general attitude or bearing. Just treat people like people.

If you address someone by an incorrect pronoun the first thing you should do is simply apologize -- you don't have to grovel at their feet and declare all the ways in which you're wrong -- and ask what pronouns they prefer.

"Oh, I'm sorry. What do you prefer?"

It's okay if you don't know. It's okay if you make a mistake. If they don't accept your (assumed genuine) apology and attempt to understand/make things better, then that's on them, not you.

Don't take one person's reaction and apply it to everyone who calls themselves trans or non-binary or genderqueer. I've had liberals get up in my grill because I've used the wrong pronouns before, taking it as the greatest offense they've ever been subjected to, while radical soon-to-be friends understand that mistakes happen and, as long as you aren't a fucking asshole about it, it's okay to make a mistake.

5

ziq wrote

Why do you need to know?

6

Calistoga wrote

I can understand the impulse or desire to want to put everything and everyone into a neat little box so as to better understand the world in a way you're comfortable with. Breaking out of this habit is important, and something OP should work on.

4

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5

Calistoga wrote

or try to avoid addressing them by gendered terms in the first place.

This is a good suggestion for times when you're unsure or want to avoid misgendering someone.

1

tanattyn wrote

Yeah, I try to start off asking "what's your pronoun", and if necessary to know, "what's your gender".