Pronouns for transgender people are claimed to be one of the most important things when it comes to transition. But, maybe they aren't as important as you think.
Pronouns for transgender people are claimed to be one of the most important things when it comes to transitioning. Hearing others refer to you as your desired pronouns reaffirms your gender identity as either male or female. But, when you are misgendered and called the wrong pronouns, it makes you feel bad, threatened even, and like you can never live as the gender you’re choosing to live as. However, what if I told you that pronouns are not as important as you think? It’s true, and here’s why.
Early on in transition, you become hyper focused on pronouns since you are making drastic changes to how you appear, taking hormones, or even getting surgeries to make you appear like the opposite sex. This hyperactive focus on how others perceive you comes from a place of uncertainty within yourself. You are extremely sensitive to other people’s views of you, and present yourself in a way that others view you the way you want them to view you. This type of control you want to have over other’s perspective leaves you stressed and anxious that others are not viewing you the way you want them to view you. So, you become focus on your appearance and pronouns, and when someone calls you the wrong pronoun, and goes against what you want them to think and believe, it upsets you to such an extreme degree that it may even make you think that others are out to harm you, harass you, and take away your right to exist, which simply is not true.
Those close to you, who you knew before transition, may have a hard time adjusting to the new you. It takes time for your immediate family and friend circle to come around to calling you by the correct pronouns and name. You cannot, and should not, get upset with them if they slip up from time to time since the change is gradual. Those who respect and love you will refer to you as the name and pronouns you wish to go by, but it’s often difficult since it’s a sudden change and you may still physically look the same to them. Some people may never be able to fully come around since it’s simply too hard for them.
Another thing to realize is that a pronoun is just a word. It does not and should not define you. What defines who you are is the interests you have, what you make of your life, and your connection with your higher self, your true self, your spirit and soul. You are here for a specific reason. Each of us has a different reason for being here today, and what we are meant to accomplish. But, I can guarantee you that your reason for existing on this Earth is to not get upset at trivial things such as how others perceive you and what they call you, and certainly not pronouns. These words are such a small, trivial thing in the grand scheme of your life and who you truly are.
Since we have a physical body and wish for others to view us in a positive way, especially as the gender we choose to identify as, we cannot change other’s perspective. The unfortunate truth for the overwhelming amount of trans people is that it’s very easy to tell the person is trans if you know what to look for. Things such as jawline, shoulders, hip width, curves, height, voice, and so on. Most people don’t analyze someone from head to toe, nor really care to, but the fact remains that you cannot change or convince everyone, and should not worry about trying since all you’ll be doing is making yourself feel bad and like a victim. Instead, feel empowered that no matter how others perceive you, you’re still able to be happy. Build up your own self confidence.
While it may be unsettling to hear someone misgender you, especially if done deliberately, stand strong and show how confident you are by not letting it get to you. Taking offense is a personal choice. If you get offended, that shows vulnerabilities that you need to work on. By working on your confidence by loving the person you are at the deepest level, then you’ll find new happiness in the world and accept and love others for who they are, even if they’ve done you wrong and misgendered you. Hatred doesn’t accomplish anything, and only makes you look foolish, so learn to love yourself and others, building up your confidence, and you’ll be able to achieve success.
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I know the feeling well of others intentionally misgendering me, years after transitioning when I was clearly presenting as a female. I let it get to me and felt like a target, like a victim. This gave me insight into my own life and doubts I have about my body and life. Once I was able to work on that, I found the love I’d been missing for myself and was able to build up my confidence to a point that I no longer get upset by such things. Everyone is entitled to their views, and it’s not my place to get involved with that or judge them for it. Let them deal with it and I’ll be who I’m meant to be.