Pronoun etiquette

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Pronoun etiquette

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:53 pm

Hello. This may not be the right place to ask this, and I apologise if it is not, but I am seeking advice about pronoun usage before making a post about someone who was involve in running a failed fan convention that had an impact on other conventions. The person is not someone I personally know so I can't ask the person, and the person's gender identity is complicated.

After coming out as a lesbian in high school, the person later adopted a male name and became a self identified heterosexual male. After that, while usually living as a heterosexual male, there are times when the person self identifies as a lesbian using the female birth name before returning to the male identity. These transitions are made easier because, other than occasionally self medicating with testosterone, the person has not taken medical steps to make a physical transition. Confusing the issue, there are those who say that the occasionally assertions of the birth identity are actually part of alleged identity frauds, which will factor into discussions on the fan convention. (After the convention collapsed, the person pleaded no contest to identity fraud and legally agree to not be a director of a not for profit group for a minimum of ten years.)

When referring to this person, should I use the pronoun for the person's gender at the time I am referencing, the person's current gender, or the person's usual (male) identity?
I.E., is it:
After <birth name> came out in high school, she took a year of college then, after claiming his male identity <male name>, became involved with fan groups, leading to his involvement in the failed convention.
or is it:
After he came out in high school, he took a year of college then, after claiming his male identity <male name>, became involved with fan groups, leading to his involvement in the failed convention.
or should I check the person's current posts and use the pronoun that matches the person's current identity?

Thank you in advance for any help with this issue.

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Ice Maiden
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Re: Pronoun etiquette

Postby Ice Maiden » Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:51 pm

This is a difficult one as the best way to deal with this is to ask the person 'how they identify' as it is not immediately obvious and we ask people this even though we have been doing this for decades. Sometimes to their surprise as they present as female but I still ask them as they may want a gender non-binary label?

OK so that caveat aside.

If you cannot ask then the best practice is to use the pronoun that balances with how they present.

If they present as 'female' - wearing a dress lippy etc then no matter what is 'between their legs' they are a female pending that time.

If they have taken testosterone (make sure about this) and they have lived or live a great deal of their time as male. Then this is almost a no-brainer as they are likely to be male so he him. However, He may still present as Gender Non Binary and prefer something more exotic like Hir or Ze or Xe...

Its complicated...

So I have to be careful how I answer as you will say, "WELL TRANSGENDER ZONE TOLD ME TO SAY IT!!!" :lol: ;) :? :thumbup: :lolno: :shrugs: :roll: [yesss] :noway:

So joking aside.

Presents as Female - her she.
Presents as Male - him he.

BUT if at all possible please do ask them or ask someone who knows them well!

If a patient is unconscious and in A+E (ER USA) and wearing a dress and not a party outfit (you can tell the difference (usually the eyebrows to quote Grayson Perry ;)) like a male on a stag night (Bachelor Party USA) - then it is likely they will use female pronouns until they awake and can be asked. Or at least they should do.

Hope this helps...

hmmm...I think I have covered myself well enough there (no puns intended).
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