Author Topic: Transgender online  (Read 4649 times)

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blarg314

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2013, 05:29:13 AM »
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.

I don't see it as attention seeking, particularly.

But it can be very difficult for even well meaning, thoughtful people to change long established patterns of address. Using pronouns, or names of people we've known a long time, are not things we think about each time we do them - they become automatic, and the longer we use them, the more ingrained they can be.

It's not just pronouns - ask anyone who has changed their first name, or tried to ditch an unwanted childhood nickname with their family. The case of changing a pronoun when the appearance isn't changing is significantly more difficult, because traditionally pronouns aren't something that people have chosen - they've been assigned by society. So you're working against both habit and societal conditioning.

In the OP's case, they are trying to use one set of pronouns in one situation, and a different set in another, for the same person. So I wouldn't be surprised if even though they were trying, they still slipped up accidentally  in one situation or the other.



White Lotus

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2013, 05:45:32 PM »
Our neighbor, before she began living as a woman full-time and ultimately transitioning entirely, sometimes dressed as a man and sometimes as a woman.  She said wardrobe, at that stage, dictated both name (she had one for her male self and one for her female self, which is now her full time legal name) and pronoun.  So if a person, even if I knew them IRL as one sex, played a character of the other, I would consider that wardrobe and use pronouns appropriate to the character.  If I think of on-line character Jeanine when playing, I am not thinking of IRL buddy Bob.  Always, what the person prefers is paramount, of course, in every context.

baglady

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2013, 08:44:29 PM »
Quote
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.

If these are strictly online friends, how are they going to find out? Especially if the context in which they know your friend is a role-playing game, where, as PPs have mentioned, it's common for people to play characters of a gender not their own. And also as some PPs have said, the Internet in general and RPGs in particular are a safe place for someone in gender transition to try things out. If your friend gets close enough to fellow players that s/he wants to open up about his/her situation, that's on him/her -- not on you.

I have about a half-dozen transgender friends of different ages (early teens to mid-70s) and stages of transition. But I admit to being stumped recently. It was at a party hosted by a couple I'll call Mark and Laura. Laura introduced another guest as "John, Mark's sister."

John is, by all appearances, male. He was wearing men's clothes. He has a beard. He has a wife. His name is John. Every transgender person I've known, the first thing they do when they begin the transition is take an opposite-gender name. Given the circumstantial evidence -- the beard, the craggy features -- it's unlikely John used to be female. I didn't pry, I didn't have occasion to refer to John by any gender pronouns, and since John is from out of town, I expect little to no future interaction. But as I said ... stumped.
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Yvaine

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2013, 08:54:49 PM »
Quote
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.

If these are strictly online friends, how are they going to find out? Especially if the context in which they know your friend is a role-playing game, where, as PPs have mentioned, it's common for people to play characters of a gender not their own. And also as some PPs have said, the Internet in general and RPGs in particular are a safe place for someone in gender transition to try things out. If your friend gets close enough to fellow players that s/he wants to open up about his/her situation, that's on him/her -- not on you.

I have about a half-dozen transgender friends of different ages (early teens to mid-70s) and stages of transition. But I admit to being stumped recently. It was at a party hosted by a couple I'll call Mark and Laura. Laura introduced another guest as "John, Mark's sister."

John is, by all appearances, male. He was wearing men's clothes. He has a beard. He has a wife. His name is John. Every transgender person I've known, the first thing they do when they begin the transition is take an opposite-gender name. Given the circumstantial evidence -- the beard, the craggy features -- it's unlikely John used to be female. I didn't pry, I didn't have occasion to refer to John by any gender pronouns, and since John is from out of town, I expect little to no future interaction. But as I said ... stumped.

It might have even been a brain fart on Laura's part. She'd probably been doing introductions all night and the wrong word just fell out that time.

blarg314

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2013, 09:06:20 PM »


It might have even been a brain fart on Laura's part. She'd probably been doing introductions all night and the wrong word just fell out that time.

I've also found that non-native speakers can mix up "he" and "she" accidentally without noticing it. I could see myself reaching for the Chinese word for younger brother, and having the wrong word come out.

Pen^2

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Re: Transgender online
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2013, 10:21:16 PM »


It might have even been a brain fart on Laura's part. She'd probably been doing introductions all night and the wrong word just fell out that time.

I've also found that non-native speakers can mix up "he" and "she" accidentally without noticing it. I could see myself reaching for the Chinese word for younger brother, and having the wrong word come out.

My MIL does this all the time. In her native language, "he" and "she" are pronounced exactly the same way, which makes things a lot simpler. Gendered language just makes things more complicated than they need to be more often than it's actually useful IMO...

And I'm sure I've done it also, despite English being my first language. We all make mistakes, especially when tired. No big deal.