A few weeks ago, a friend from the internet decided ae wanted to use more gender-neutral pronouns than “she” and “her.” They said they were still fine with “she” as well, but wanted to try others.
Last month I finally got to go to volunteer orientation at the Time Out Youth Center. We went around the room and shared our pronouns and I felt awkward about it when it was my turn to share mine.
When I worked at the local library two years ago, there was a person whose gender I couldn’t easily identify. I wasn’t sure what to do but one of my coworkers made it sound so simple. Just ask if they’re a man or a woman. Easy.
I’m from the South and it just doesn’t feel that easy. Talk about people who get offended easily: how would an older person who believes gender is clear-cut react if I said I couldn’t tell.
I am a cisgender woman and my gender has never felt wrong to me. Learning that there are other experiences has been a long process and, though I want to be a good ally, this proves I still have a long way to go. I shouldn’t be waiting for you to correct me. I should be asking for pronouns when I meet people. I should be doing my part to normalize that experience instead of forcing you to out yourself as different.
So correct me if I misgender you, but I’m sorry you have to. I’m sorry I haven’t given you an easy opportunity to tell me what you want to be called.
Thank you for being patient with me, but I’m sorry if I ever make you feel anything less than 100% accepted as yourself.