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Some issues with my family and how I should handle misgendering/deadnaming


MayBea

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So I've come out to my family for about a a year and a half. And I've been on hrt for over a year. And some of my family still struggles with misgendering me and deadnaming me? My sister seems to be trying but she constantly makes mistakes even during my last visit a few weeks ago(and has misgendered me in public without even thinking about it several times). My cousin did fine for a while, until he started randomly deadnaming me and misgendering me the last few months(all on the phone to be clear). Luckily my friends who known me before transition treat me perfectly. I guess my question is, how do I handle this? Being misgendered and deadnamed is painful for me but I try to remember how long they knew me before my transition and try to understand it might be difficult for them to adjust. I do correct them and they seem to realize they messed up and apologize. But it keeps happening. And I'm not sure how to talk to them about it(if I even should). Am I being unreasonable in being hurt by them?

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Many Trans activists that I know consider that behavior to be a form of Violence against us.  Accidents do happen and I evaluate them as they come.  Hanging up the phone, if that is how you talk to them would work for a bit.  Sending them an actual U.S.P.S. letter setting YOUR BOUNDARIES would be highly appropriate, but do get ready for some blow back on it.  Your Gender Therapist can be a big help in strategies to deal with this too.

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About misgendering me in public: I had to have a heart-to-heart with my wife about that. It basically went, "Please don't do that. It can get me killed."

 

Vicky is right though, it can be a form of passive-aggressive violence and it's not to be tolerated. Accidents happen but you're not asking anything difficult of any of them.

 

Hugs!

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15 minutes ago, Jackie C. said:

you're not asking anything difficult of any of them

 

When I came out to my in-laws, who were in their 90s at the time, they instantly got it.  I think there was one accidental misgendering, quickly self-corrected, and then perfection ever since.  I could not have asked for better treatment.

 

You are right: it is not something difficult.  Most people can handle it if they want to.

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Thank you all of you for the responses. I actually didn't even think about how her misgendering me in public could be dangerous. Particularly since I don't live in a very LGBTQ friendly place. I think I need to talk to her about gendering me correctly.

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It is definitely reasonable to feel hurt and offended.  With family, figure out if it is somebody that you need a relationship with or somebody you can avoid.  It isn't hard to learn someone's preferred form of address, so I suspect most misgendering is willful rather than forgetful.  State your boundaries clearly so they have no excuse, and be prepared for the fallout. 

 

I wouldn't go so far as to say that misgendering is "violence," but it is definitely rudeness.  It is on a level with giving somebody the middle finger or its verbal equivalent.  I prefer to avoid confrontation, which means avoiding people who are rude to me or treat me badly.  I don't have any obligation to talk to people like that.  Simply scamper away or fade away and that's it. 

 

 

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