Question Nineteen: should I speak up if someone misgenders a trans friend?

April 19, 2013 § 1 Comment

Only three more questions left – panel bios here.

 

 

Question Nineeten

As always, this will be dependent on individual circumstances, but I’d really like to hear some opinions on this scenario:
 If I, as an ally, am with a trans friend, and another person misgenders my trans friend, should I correct the other person, or should I wait for my trans friend to do it? Is it presumptuous or supportive for me to speak up?


 

 

Naith: I always used to like it if a friend corrected someone else on my behalf, since I was often too nervous to do it myself. However it’s going to come down to personal preference and it’s best to ask your friend what they’d prefer.

 

 

Roz: There are no rules and I am not Miss Manners…Maybe look at your friend and go ‘I’ve got this’ in a vaguely interrogatory way?

 

 

Natacha: If that happened to me, I would be very happy for you to do so, but not in every situation. In a meeting at work I would prefer that the content of the meeting were discussed and got through as quickly and efficiently as possible without worrying about that. Unless the misgendering were deliberate.

 

 

CN: I think it depends on how well someone knows me, and how well they can read the situation/what I need? If I’m in a certain work environment, or worried that it might turn into a whole bunch of hassle that I’m not in the mood to deal with, then I try to ignore misgendering, and hope that a friend would follow my lead. However, there are plenty of situations where it’s helpful for a friend to take the initiative and correct someone: when I don’t have the energy, when I’m really ground-down, at work where I’m worried about ‘making a fuss’ but still upset about being misgendered, with new groups of people who know my friend but not me – it means a lot to know that someone has my back like that. I’d say that it’s best to talk it through with your friend beforehand and decide on what’s most comfortable and useful for you both. 

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