Friday, March 26, 2010


I know we've talked about pronouns before on this blog in the context of MtF. It gets a little messier when we start talking about androgyn's. Everything is gendered. All the time we refer to people by their gender. So much so that it's second nature.

In addition to being able to choose a new name for myself, I've also started to express myself in gender neutral terms. Most gender neutral pronouns are unknown by most people. However there is a great many to choose from! See here:

Chart taken from the Gender-neutral pronoun wikipedia. Great page. See full page here

As you can see, there's alot to choose from! For's more about ease and comfort of the person speaking. If someone is talking to me and they're tripping all over pronouns and stuttering and correcting themselves to the point that we can't function in my eyes...that's a fail. I'd rather you just call me "she" at that point because that's got the air of comfort for the speaker!

Of course this is all deeply personal. I know a number of people who feel very strongly about their need to be identified with the gender neutral pronoun set of their choosing. Pronouns are a huge trigger of pain for a number of people. I suppose I'm lucky that it's not THAT big of a deal for me verses other things. However when I'm out with my wife and we get the "hi ladies!" I do bristle some.

So what do *I* like? What would *I* prefer? Above all, I prefer to be a person. Not a lady, or guy, or woman or man...just a person. I can even be a "silly person" or what have you!

To my sisters I am their sibling. (or at least would like to be identified as such) My main nickname among my immediate family is "sis" (creative...I know.) and it's a small dagger to me every time it's used.

In the land of type I really like "s/he". However it doesn't translate well into speaking so that doesn't really work. I like "e" because it's already part of existing pronouns (She or he) so it flows in language easily I think. In the same way I use "hir".

The problem with pronouns is that...I never really use them myself! I can't model that to other people because I never refer to myself as "s/he". Of course not!

One hang up that has happened recently is the matter of "aunt". I don't have any children of my own, so we didn't have to come up with any new "mama/dada" lingo (though I put them together to create Mada and I love it...) however i do have one nephew and two nieces. They all call me "aunt [birth name]". So it's part title, and name! It's who I am to them. That's a big deal. I was discussing the matter with my SIL recently and we didn't come to any solid options that felt like it REALLY fit. Aunt and uncle don't combine very easily to make a new word.

A friend suggested "andi" as a short/cute version of androgyn with the bonus of sounding like auntie. I like that. I think it's cute.

Whether intended or not, the pronoun set that you use toward someone shows who you think they are; how you view them. If I'm in the store, and I see a stranger from behind and refer to that person as a woman...but that person is actually a man; that man is libel to be upset with me! Because he's a man and wants to be addressed and seen as such! I completely understand.

My identity as an androgyn is just as valid and real as anyone else's identity as man or woman (this includes MtFs and FtMs as they still fit within the binary)

There is a learning curve, and I definitely understand that. When Cyndi started transition and I had to switch to the female set of pronouns when referring to her, that took time and practice. I do alot of journaling, so writing correct pronouns where I could easily edit myself if I messed up set it in my mind quickly and transferred to my speech patterns relatively quickly. I also made sure to correct myself mentally in any of my self talk. What we think...we may eventuall say. It takes practice, patience and understanding.