Author Topic: Transgender online  (Read 4967 times)

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Twik

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2013, 07:30:40 PM »
Is this a game that you'll be doing something like vent? Because if your friend is intending on becoming fully female, I don't think she would be offended by people treating her as such over the internet at this point in time, even down to flirting. Is your main concern that people will hear a male voice, and be confused?
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nuit93

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2013, 09:31:09 PM »
The person in question will let you know which pronoun they prefer.  Some prefer to be identified by the gender they present as, others prefer a gender-neutral pronoun (zie, hir).

Miss Unleaded

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2013, 03:54:25 AM »
Also, if it would feel "almost like lying" for you to refer to your friend as "she," that's something you should think about separately. Is it because your friend isn't sure of her gender, or because you're used to thinking of her as male and it would feel dishonest not to tell the other people she's trans*? (Don't out people unless they say it's okay, because there can be safety issues. f you aren't comfortable introducing her to other people as the gender she identifies with, you don't have to--but the answer there is to not introduce her, not to say "this is my trangender friend so-and-so.")

Perceptive question.  I think it's because my friend is living as a man, has only come out to a handful of people, and the most recent time we spoke of it, was unsure if she would ever make the transition to living as a woman.  If she was already living as a woman or had even started to transition the question would not have entered my head.  So you're probably correct, I'm still used to thinking of her as a man because the visual queues are missing and it's pretty much a secret to most of our mutual friends and acquaintances. 

I have no intention of outing her, online or anywhere.  It's not my decision to make.

Is this a game that you'll be doing something like vent? Because if your friend is intending on becoming fully female, I don't think she would be offended by people treating her as such over the internet at this point in time, even down to flirting. Is your main concern that people will hear a male voice, and be confused?

I mentioned voice communication to my friend and she said she'd say that her mic is broken.


Virg

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2013, 08:53:42 AM »
My thought is, if anyone playing an MMO doesn't understand the idea that they may be flirting with a GIRL (in acronym form it means "guy in real life") then they're not paying attention.  Heck, I had a friend who got so much flirting that he renamed his female toon "Imaguy" and it didn't slow it down much at all.

If she identifies herself as a she online and it's not to commit fraud, then you should do the same.


Miss Unleaded wrote:

"I mentioned voice communication to my friend and she said she'd say that her mic is broken."

I've known several people who did this, and I've known some who either just talk and let others think what they will or use a modulator to alter their voice.  In the end, it's her choice how she wants to handle it, and most groups don't care if you talk over the voice chat as long as you respond to audibles in group settings.  When the raid leader yells, "Don't move when Flame Wreath is cast!" he's not going to care if she doesn't speak as long as she doesn't move.

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Yvaine

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2013, 10:13:54 AM »
I've read that the correct way to refer to transgender people is with the pronoun of the gender they're presenting.  So a man who feels like a woman but hasn't yet started the transition should still be referred to as 'he'.  If they have transitioned to female appearance, 'she' is the appropriate pronoun.  I was wondering how this applies to situations where the gender is not obvious?

I have a transgender friend I've talked into coming to play an MMO with me.  S/he is still living as a man and was having doubts as to whether s/he would in fact swap to being female, but she has asked me to use 'she' in game. I'm worried about how my online friends will react when/if they find out that the person they assumed was female both looks and sounds like a man in person.  I don't want to offend my friend by treating him as a guy, but I also don't want to lie to my other, online friends and I feel like calling my friend 'she' is close to lying.

If anyone has any perspective to offer on this situation I would appreciate it.  It's not a usual situation for me.

Don't out her birth gender to your online friends. If it comes up someday that she might meet your online friends, let her decide how she wants to deal with that. I find it pretty likely that it'll never even come up, so there's no point in hurting your friend over a hypothetical situation that probably won't come to pass. If she does meet them, it's up to her how she introduces herself and it's up to your friends whether they have prejudices or not.

guihong

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2013, 12:09:53 PM »
I agree with the advice above, but this reminds me of something my husband said; that if he has to run a character around and spend time gaming, he'd rather look at a female in some skimpy outfit than a guy!



GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2013, 12:53:16 PM »
If a person asks to be referred to by female pronouns, use female pronouns (and vice versa).

Outing, in the LGBTQ community, is generally frowned upon. Which means if you are introducing Carol to Joan it isn't up to you to say "BTW, Joan used to be Bob", Joan will tell Carol when/if she wants too. And since this on-line, it's not a big deal that Joan hasn't started transitioning.

Coming to terms with who are you, when you who are doesn't meet social norms, is a long and arduous process. It is very personal, requires a lot of self-reflection and self-acceptance. Then announcing that to the world, even longer. Not everyone is accepting, or even polite. A lot of people are down right mean and nasty. So you spend time playing the "How will the take this?" and "How important is that they know" game. If you fear a negative reaction, is it something they really need to know? If Joan never meets Carol IRL, and Joan fears Carol will not be kind, then Joan may never tell Carol.

The fact that your friend has shared something so personal with you that it sounds like she has only just begun to accept herself reflects wonderfully on how much she values your friendship and how much she trusts you. 

blarg314

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2013, 07:58:43 PM »

On the MMO, being a woman is no problem as far as basic on-line etiquette.

Being a woman on an MMO can sometimes be a problem for other reasons.

In your case - do your best not to out him/her in either direction, but don't feel guilty if you accidentally slip up, because keeping two separate identities for someone can be difficult. You need to refer to them as "him" exclusively in real life, because they are not out there. But you need to use "she" exclusively in the game, so as to not out them to their on-line friends. It's easy to slip up in a case like that, because it's something that we don't generally need to do - switch between pronouns in a situational way on a daily basis.

So I might say to your friend that you're happy to call them she, but you are worried that you might accidentally slip up, for the reasons above.

I would be quite interested in your friend's perception in playing MMOs as a woman vs as a man, particularly when it comes to the non-stop flirty, sexually charged comments/insults, and propositions.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2013, 11:26:12 AM »
Use somebody's preferred pronouns. Always, no exceptions. Even if their name is Manly McManson and they only ever wear plaid and open bottles with their teeth, if they prefer female pronouns then you use female pronouns.

If I am unsure of somebody's pronouns, I find that using 'they/them/their' works very well, and is not as noticable as other neutral pronouns.

I actually think that everybody does this subconciously when they don't know the gender of the person they are referring to. See, I just did it in that sentence!

I know that the best thing to do is to ask about pronouns, but I'm too much of a wuss! And the potential for offence is huge.




mspallaton

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2013, 11:32:29 AM »
I mentioned voice communication to my friend and she said she'd say that her mic is broken.

That was my go to.  I'm female and I played a male character in WoW.  As much as there is a lot of cross play - the server I was on had almost no women with male characters and a lot of sexism.  I got a lot more opportunities with people thinking I was male.

That is somewhat off topic, but I shared it for this reason --- whatever the social cues existing in your game, your friend can navigate them.  It isn't easy, but it is a baby step compared to presenting offline as a woman.  This may be her first comfort zone where she tests the water.

I want to commend you on asking the question.  Transgender issues are just recently becoming openly talked about and it is great that you're thinking hard about the right thing to do.  Other posters have explained that you should use the pronoun she wants.  I concur.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 12:27:45 PM by mspallaton »

Slartibartfast

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2013, 11:50:00 AM »
Even if their name is Manly McManson and they only ever wear plaid and open bottles with their teeth, if they prefer female pronouns then you use female pronouns.


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lmyrs

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2013, 12:54:27 PM »
This:

Quote
Even if their name is Manly McManson and they only ever wear plaid and open bottles with their teeth, if they prefer female pronouns then you use female pronouns.

and this:

Quote
Heck, I had a friend who got so much flirting that he renamed his female toon "Imaguy" and it didn't slow it down much at all.

are absolutely awesome.

Allyson

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2013, 12:25:36 AM »
I would rather not be totally 'accurate' with some people online who I'll never meet, than hurt my friend; I do get your worry, but I know a lot of people who started coming out as trans online because of the safety factor.

DavidH

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2013, 02:23:52 PM »
On line, particularly with people they are unlikely to meet in real life, there seems no reason to disregard their preference.  It may be worth a conversation around do they ever intend to meet any of these people and what to do at that juncture.

IRL, it is, perhaps, a bit more challenging if their only step in transitioning is changing a pronoun.  If you live as one gender, then requesting to be addressed using the other pronoun seems like it's going to present a lot of issues and come across as more attention seeking than anything else.


zyrs

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2013, 12:55:26 AM »
Call your friend by her preferred pronoun.  It's the accurate one.