Author Topic: misgendering from family  (Read 369 times)

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Offline kaya91

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misgendering from family
« on: March 10, 2019, 07:33:27 pm »
I am very close to my grandmother who I also live with. She is supportive in my transition and in trans issues generally. I have recently met a few neighbors who are intersex and trans. The problem I have is that she consistently misgenders all of us (me mostly) and also she uses everyone's male name if she knows it. When I bring this up to her she says I've had this name forever and its gonna take her time to get used to it. This does not make sense when applied to my neighbors or other trans friends I have brought around. I have gone by a different name and used different gender pronouns for 2 years and she still uses the wrong ones more often than not. I try to be understanding however she gets defensive and angry when I point it out that she is not calling me by my actual name or others by theirs. She says offensive things unknowingly in defense of herself at times. What should I do to remedy the situation? I am very tired of being understanding, especially when it comes to other people as I don't want to offend my friends or have them think she is ignorant. What should i do?

Online Devlyn

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2019, 08:13:06 pm »
People who have known me as Mike for 40 or 50 years get a free pass. I ask them to try to use Devlyn, but let them know that I'll never bite their head off for using my old name.

Minor acquaintances get a smile and I say "It's Devlyn now" as a reminder.


Offline Arianna Valentine

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2019, 08:33:33 pm »
I am very close to my grandmother who I also live with. She is supportive in my transition and in trans issues generally. I have recently met a few neighbors who are intersex and trans. The problem I have is that she consistently misgenders all of us (me mostly) and also she uses everyone's male name if she knows it. When I bring this up to her she says I've had this name forever and its gonna take her time to get used to it. This does not make sense when applied to my neighbors or other trans friends I have brought around. I have gone by a different name and used different gender pronouns for 2 years and she still uses the wrong ones more often than not. I try to be understanding however she gets defensive and angry when I point it out that she is not calling me by my actual name or others by theirs. She says offensive things unknowingly in defense of herself at times. What should I do to remedy the situation? I am very tired of being understanding, especially when it comes to other people as I don't want to offend my friends or have them think she is ignorant. What should i do?
Honestly when i started transitioning and even up until his death my dad constantly called me by my dead name and called me son even though im transitioning to a female at work i wear lipstick and makeup and pushup bras that make chest size appear bigger the fact is with family theyve known you for so long as the gender you were born as that they cant really help it it does help to try and see it from their point of view

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Offline OliverR.

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2019, 01:14:42 pm »
I've come to terms with the fact that my parents will never gender me nor my brother correctly. I try not to let it bother me. It is tiring hearing it, but I try to endure it.  I know they will never be able to call me he because they've known me as a she my whole life. Honestly, it doesn't bother me as much as when other people mis-gender me, people who haven't known me that long.
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Offline Arianna Valentine

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2019, 01:42:26 pm »
I've come to terms with the fact that my parents will never gender me nor my brother correctly. I try not to let it bother me. It is tiring hearing it, but I try to endure it.  I know they will never be able to call me he because they've known me as a she my whole life. Honestly, it doesn't bother me as much as when other people mis-gender me, people who haven't known me that long.
I agree people who dont know you personally and misgender you it hurts but family its to be expected

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Offline kaya91

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 02:24:43 pm »
thanks everyone

Offline Ryuichi13

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2019, 07:30:45 am »
I am very close to my grandmother who I also live with. She is supportive in my transition and in trans issues generally. I have recently met a few neighbors who are intersex and trans. The problem I have is that she consistently misgenders all of us (me mostly) and also she uses everyone's male name if she knows it. When I bring this up to her she says I've had this name forever and its gonna take her time to get used to it. This does not make sense when applied to my neighbors or other trans friends I have brought around. I have gone by a different name and used different gender pronouns for 2 years and she still uses the wrong ones more often than not. I try to be understanding however she gets defensive and angry when I point it out that she is not calling me by my actual name or others by theirs. She says offensive things unknowingly in defense of herself at times. What should I do to remedy the situation? I am very tired of being understanding, especially when it comes to other people as I don't want to offend my friends or have them think she is ignorant. What should i do?

Maybe I'm stubborn, and it seems that I am definitely in the minority here, but I don't allow my family to misgender me. 

After coming out previously to my family, last year on my (January) birthday everyone (via text, that's how my family communicates on social media) wished me a happy birthday and constantly misnamed and misgendered me.  To come out to my siblings was the most difficult thing I had done in a very long time, and to have it ignored turned my 56th birthday into one I hated. 

So this year, after coming out on National Coming Out Day via Facebook in October, I was dreading family once again misnaming and misgendering me on my birthday this January.  So much so that I had told my gender therapist "I'd rather not get any birthday wishes." 

Well, one of my brothers didn't get the message, and misgendered me via text.  I corrected him, to which he replied "well, you're both.  I can't erase history and memories."  I pointed out how he was my first sibling I came out to," and how I "rather he didn't use pronouns at all" in reference to me."  He explained how he "sees me as both and wants to hang on to our history and memories."  I replied with "the memories where I hated my body and wore hoodies during 90F summer heat?"  (I wonder if he realized that I tended to stay to myself during family gatherings?)  He finally replied with a non-gendered "Happy Birthday," to which I replied with a thank you, told him I still loved him and how I can't wait for everyone to see the true me.  My family is scattered all over the US, and one sibling even lives in Japan, so when we get together, its an event. 

I also correct my parents when I'm misgendered or misnamed, even if it angers my Dad.  If I allow one person to get away with it, the rest will think "it's okay," and continue to misname and misgender me. 

I want my family to see my changes.  To see my (scraggly) beard, hear my deeper voice, see my more muscular body.  To see ME.  Not the miserable person I was before transitioning, but the happier, more self-loving man I have become. 

I feel that if I allow one family member to "get away with it," they will all think its okay and continue to misname and misgender me.  And I will once again dread family gatherings and not go to them for fear that they will make me dysphoric once again, something which I have managed to lessen greatly.

Herd mentality is a real thing among human beings. 

Ryuichi



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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2019, 07:40:27 am »
In regard to family, I let mistakes slide if I know they are trying. Then again, for me it's only been a year as opposed to the previous +-57 for him. I don't tolerate not trying. I give a strong look, or words, depending on the situation. Why? because it hurts me when they do it. Yeah, they may have the memories and history and habit .. it still hurts.

If it's been an extended amount of time and they still deadname or misgender - they aren't trying and that's unforgivable. They aren't thinking of you or your pain, they are thinking of their convenience.

It takes effort to change, aren't you worth it?
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Offline Ryuichi13

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2019, 07:52:02 am »
In regard to family, I let mistakes slide if I know they are trying. Then again, for me it's only been a year as opposed to the previous +-57 for him. I don't tolerate not trying. I give a strong look, or words, depending on the situation. Why? because it hurts me when they do it. Yeah, they may have the memories and history and habit .. it still hurts.

If it's been an extended amount of time and they still deadname or misgender - they aren't trying and that's unforgivable. They aren't thinking of you or your pain, they are thinking of their convenience.

It takes effort to change, aren't you worth it?

I once read that "misnaming and misgendering is like Chinese water torture."  At first, after a few drops you're like, "Oh, this isn't so bad.  I can deal with this."  But after the millionth drop, you're ready to go crazy/scream/get angry/etc.  It hurts.  Sure its "only water," but it still hurts.

I'm at that point now.  It hurts me and I get angry when family misgenders or misnames me for the millionth time.  :(

But I also have to recognize my one brother and future sister in law, who now both call me "Roo" and has taught their son to call me "Uncle Roo."  I love that!  :D

Ryuichi



Offline LizK

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2019, 07:57:36 am »
I once read that "misnaming and misgendering is like Chinese water torture."  At first, after a few drops you're like, "Oh, this isn't so bad.  I can deal with this."  But after the millionth drop, you're ready to go crazy/scream/get angry/etc.  It hurts.  Sure its "only water," but it still hurts.

I'm at that point now.  It hurts me and I get angry when family misgenders or misnames me for the millionth time.  :(

Ryuichi

As I complete my 4th year in Transition and my second living fulltime I have to agree with you Ryuichi...I think your description fits so well with how I feel about it. I saw my parents for the first time since beginning my transition and it was clear that they never use my name or pronouns. I find it so disrespectful for them to not even try... I never insist but simply ask people to make an effort. They were misgendering me as they came through the door and in the next breath professing their support for me.

Liz
Transition Begun 25 September 2015
HRT since 17 May 2016,
Fulltime from 8 March 2017,
GCS 4 December 2018
Voice Surgery 01 February 2019

Offline Ryuichi13

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2019, 08:09:37 am »
As I complete my 4th year in Transition and my second living fulltime I have to agree with you Ryuichi...I think your description fits so well with how I feel about it. I saw my parents for the first time since beginning my transition and it was clear that they never use my name or pronouns. I find it so disrespectful for them to not even try... I never insist but simply ask people to make an effort. They were misgendering me as they came through the door and in the next breath professing their support for me.

Liz

Yeah...no.  That would never work with me. 

My parents both refuse to use my correct name or my correct gender, and thus, they get corrected by me every time they do so.

And yes, I do find it disrespectful.  >:( 

Transitioning after 54 years of living as the wrong gender was not a light decision.  I took well over a year to think about it, researching all I could about it, especially as a middle-aged transman. 

And to not have my need to transition hurts.  It was the most difficult decision of my life. 

Thus my refusal to "let it slide" with anyone, even family.

Ryuichi



Offline OliverR.

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2019, 09:59:47 am »
Yeah...no.  That would never work with me. 

My parents both refuse to use my correct name or my correct gender, and thus, they get corrected by me every time they do so.

And yes, I do find it disrespectful.  >:( 

Transitioning after 54 years of living as the wrong gender was not a light decision.  I took well over a year to think about it, researching all I could about it, especially as a middle-aged transman. 

And to not have my need to transition hurts.  It was the most difficult decision of my life. 

Thus my refusal to "let it slide" with anyone, even family.

Ryuichi
y

I have to admit, it is very difficult to let it slide and hearing it constantly makes me very depressed. When I do say something, I have to deal with a very angry mother and that's why I tend to bottle it up inside me. (which probably isn't the best thing to do.) I have a good therapist to talk to about these things and it helps a little. I hate to admit it but I'm afraid of my family. :P
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Offline Ryuichi13

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2019, 07:13:27 pm »
I have to admit, it is very difficult to let it slide and hearing it constantly makes me very depressed. When I do say something, I have to deal with a very angry mother and that's why I tend to bottle it up inside me. (which probably isn't the best thing to do.) I have a good therapist to talk to about these things and it helps a little. I hate to admit it but I'm afraid of my family. :P

As long as you are safe/feel safe, I would correct them.  If not, then maybe it's time to consider moving out or having less contact with them.   

Your feelings matter, and despite what they may think, for you to be depressed does matter.  Have you thought about telling your family how terrible it makes you feel to be misnamed or misgendered?  It might help them understand you a bit better if you do.

Good luck.

Ryuichi



Offline kaya91

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2019, 01:26:48 am »
I feel the same way as the later posters, it is like Chinese water torture. I have taken to calling her by our relatives' name she dislikes and I manage to do remember to do it more than she correctly refers to me. She says its like the old me has died, i really don't understand it. She has done it to this kid my friend is friends with too now several times (mostly when he gets on her nerves) and when i say its a big deal to us you need to understand that because you are accepting and still use words as a weapon this way it makes it worse she acts as if its not a big deal over and over again. I've given up on it at this point which is really sad because she is who im closest to in the world and it is driving a wedge between us :/.

Offline Cindy

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2019, 02:06:18 am »
I'm late into this thread and sort of late in life as well in a few ways. I've been me for several years now. I did have one family member who persisted in misnaming and misgendering me and it go very tiring. It was obvious that she was using the misgendering as a 'weapon' of some kind. It came to a point were I had enough and at a family gathering at my house she persisted - yet again. I stood up and took her to the door and showed her out and said if you deliberately misgender me again you go.

She has never misgendered me again.

Funnily enough when she came back into the room with the rest of the family no one mentioned what had occurred. However my mother in law (her mother) had a rather large grin on her 93 year old face and was very chirpy. She BTW has never misgendered me except for a few initial and very understandable hiccups.

Offline Jessica_K

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2019, 02:14:38 am »
I have a little sympathy for older people miss gendering when for years they have known you by other names and gender. I also know the effect it has on transgenders being both an older person and transgender.

I am sorry to say I have been known to mis gender my grandson, I correct myself immediately and get annoyed that I had done it

So I guess the intention needs to be determind with a gentle reminder each time it is done and if like me it is purely old age then maybe it will sink in

Jessica

Offline KathyLauren

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Re: misgendering from family
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2019, 06:59:52 am »
However my mother in law (her mother) had a rather large grin on her 93 year old face and was very chirpy. She BTW has never misgendered me except for a few initial and very understandable hiccups.

Isn't it funny how well the older generation can adapt?  Right from my very first visit to my in-laws after coming out to them, they got it right.  They were 92 and 93 at the time.  If I recall, they each slipped up with pronouns once.  Only once, and it was clearly accidental and totally understandable.  They never got my name wrong, and they got the pronouns right very quickly.  Any time my father-in-law phoned and I happened to answer the phone, he made a point of addressing me by name: "Hi, Kathy!"  Every time.

If elderly folks who would have a perfectly plausible excuse to make mistakes can get it right, it suggests that misgendering and deadnaming by younger people is less accidental than we give them credit for.
2015-07-04 Awakening; 2015-11-15 Out to self; 2016-06-22 Out to wife; 2016-10-27 First time presenting in public; 2017-01-20 Started HRT!!; 2017-04-20 Out publicly, beginning full-time; 2017-07-10 Legal name change; 2019-02-15 Approval for GRS

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