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Recently came out as NB, now I feel anxious if people will accept me.


LindaTheSociologist

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I recently came out as NB to a few people, in addition to posting it on my Instagram (because I felt like it). Now I'm quite sorry that I posted it there because now I wonder if people have read the post and just decided to ignore it/not acknowledge it or just don't know. To clarify, this is with people that I didn't feel comfortable coming out to in person yet.

Has anyone experienced something similar? I feel quite afraid of rejection and it makes me overthink many interactions which I now experience.

 

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I've been told satistically 80% won't pay attention, 10% won't care either way, 5% will care but not say anything, 5% or less will be nasty.

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1 hour ago, Shay said:

I've been told satistically 80% won't pay attention, 10% won't care either way, 5% will care but not say anything, 5% or less will be nasty.

Oh, that's awesome and reasuring! Didn't know that there were statistics for this! 

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Ahoj @LindaTheSociologist. I am also enby and only out to a few people. I have not made any grand gesture to announce my identity. The closest I came was to change my gender on Facebook, but I hid it. But, I then had the option to choose the pronoun "them". The next day was my birthday, so all my FB friends got the notification to "wish them a happy birthday". If anyone noticed, no one said anything. Of the people I came out to in person, only one person was surprised, but I think that's because he didn't know what it meant. We continue to talk about it and he understands me better now. What @Shay indicated I also found reassuring. It's funny how something that's so important to you as part of your identity and which can seem so cataclysmic to share is such a tiny thing in the lives of most others. Nonetheless, it makes one vulnerable to share such information on that level, so it's natural to feel nervous about it. 

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Ahoj @Vidanjali, impressive Czech knowledge! Thank you for sharing your experience with me! I recently saw a 'wish them a happy birthday' of an aquaintance whom I didn't know was gender noncomforming and all I was thinking was 'oh, good for them! I didn't know'. So I guess many people react the same way to my (to be fair very subtle) coming out post and your change of pronouns on facebook. 

 

I also had a friend today inviting me to go to a Prague Pride party with him saying 'you are one of us after all', which I found really reassuring (I was planning to come out to him in person but didn't get the chance to do it yet so he's only read it in the instagram post).

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Lol @LindaTheSociologist děkuju! I traveled to your beautiful country in 2016 on a Central European tour with my choir. I like to learn at least a few phrases (depending on how long I'll be there) in a language before visiting a foreign land. We performed in Prague at St. Nicholas Church in Old Town Square. I love Prague and would like to visit again some day. I was very lucky that I was able to view Alphonse Mucha's Slav Epic which was on display at the National Gallery. Seeing that powerful and magnificent work I believe changed my brain forever. 

 

I suspect that only people who are keen on the significance of they/them pronouns would be the ones to give any thought to it if they noticed at all - almost like a secret password. Come to think of it, one friend who I know does know what that means sent me a birthday greeting with a rainbow ??. But in general, I think people don't always read so much for context, especially when reading something like a FB notification, but rather tend to hastily assimilate the main point of the message which was "V's birthday". I'm a college professor, so I have loads of evidence to support this in the form of students not following directions, lol. For me, changing pronouns on FB was like dipping my toes in the coming out pool. 

 

Have an awesome time at the Prague Pride party! That sounds like a blast - wish I could come. How wonderful to get such validation and to have the chance to celebrate with others. 

 

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@Vidanjali I also try to do that with a few simple phrases whenever I travel somewhere and I feel like people usually really appreciate it. Well, at least I always do, haha. 

 

That sounds like absolutely awesome Prague trip, I am so happy for you and I hope that you will one day get to come here again, it's truly an amazing city and has so much to offer. 

 

I love love love that one of your friends wished you happy birthday with a rainbow emoji. That is such a cute way to acknowledge your identity and let you know that they noticed your change of pronouns. ❤️ 

 

Coming out as university professor must be quite intimidating. How have you approached this, if you don't mind me asking? Because I have been considering how to approach this at my own university (I'm a PhD student) and for now I haven't figure out anything. (Czech language is also very much not gender neutral, so I am only asking for gender neutral pronouns in english, because Czech is absolutely not able to accomodate neutral gender identity. I have to learn how other czech enby people are dealing with this.)

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@LindaTheSociologist so far I am out to exactly one person at work, and he's not even in my department. I know him because he's the chairperson of the college's pro-LGBT+ committee which I'm a part of. I met him my first semester working there when I attended "safe zone" training which is training for college employees to be allies and to advertise their workspace/office/classroom as a sanctuary for diverse students. That was 12 years ago - we became fast friends. I came out to myself in 2019, and he was about the 3rd person I told. My college tends to be rather liberal. More college employees are appending their pronouns to their email signature and zoom names. BUT! most of the people doing this are cisgender - there's no risk for them. I'm trying to learn to be less afraid to tell people. Reading and writing on transpulse has empowered me a lot, and I learned about gender workbooks from a few folks here. I'm working with the gender workbook by Dana Hoffman-Fox (who is also enby) and it has been challenging and illuminating so far. 

 

So, I don't know enough about the Czech language to know about pronouns. Thanks for sharing that bit. I often wonder about gender and language. I listened to an excellent radio program a few weeks ago about the subject (I've been trying to find a recording to share). It shouldn't be surprising to learn that how gender is addressed in a native language is necessarily reflected in the culture. I learned that Finnish may be the least gendered living languages. The speaker on the radio show explained it a bit, and provided an example. She was speaking in Finnish with a Finnish person and describing a friend of hers. The Finnish person asked her several questions about this friend, and it wasn't until about question 23 that they asked if the friend was a man or woman! Can you imagine? I'm also very interested to learn how other Czech enbys address personal pronouns. Maybe we can learn from the Fins! 

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@Vidanjali So sorry for getting back to you this late, it was a busy few days. It's true what you are saying, that a cis-gender person displaying their pronouns is no risk for them, even though I believe they are doing it in hope of creating an inclusive environment for genderqueer/non-binary/trans people. I kind of believe that anyone who has publically displayed his/her/their pronouns would be supportive of you displaying your prefered pronouns, but I also completely understand you don't feel entirely safe and comfortable doing so.


I didn't know there were gender workbooks like this, I will look it up.

 

And yes! If you manage to remember what the program was called or find a recording, I would be very much interested in listening to it. So far, I noticed a discussion in more progressive communities of Czech natives about how to address non-binary people and there doesn't seem to be much consensus. I also decided to go to several trans and non-binary centred events at Prague Pride next week, so I hope to perhaps learn a bit more there and maybe even make friends who are going through something similar.

 

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Hi @LindaTheSociologist! No worries. I've actually been on vacation. I'm relaxing at the moment before going to dinner. I found the podcast! And I see I misremembered - the story about the conversation with the person who didn't ask whether the person being described was a man or woman took place in the Indonesian language. So, I've learned Indonesian and Finnish both use gender-neutral pronouns. Quite fascinating! In Finnish, everyone is referred to as "hän", and in Indonesian everyone is referred to as "dia". 

 

Here's the link to the podcast (now I'm interested in listening to other episodes of this show - a lot of intriguing content): https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/lost-in-translation/

 

An article about AI bias (a reflection of societal bias) in translating the Indonesian gender-neutral pronoun into English: https://www.vice.com/en/article/a3jg9e/why-google-is-adding-gender-pronouns-to-bahasa-indonesia-translations

 

And an article about the Finnish gender-neutral pronoun: https://finland.fi/han/article/

 

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Aw, @Vidanjali you are awesome! Providing me with so many resources. Enjoy your holiday to the fullest! I will listen to the podcast and read the articles and get back to you :) 

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