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How to manage names/pronouns for a genderfluid person


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For the time being I'm going to regard myself as Genderfluid (that's what my counsellor and I agreed was the closest description for my current state of gender identity). During daylight hours I'm spending 3 days a week as Niamh and the other 4 as my male alter-ego. At night I'm a bit of a hybrid as I always wear panties+bra+womens nightwear but no wig or makeup so my appearance is a blend of male and female. This is the compromise that I and my wife has reached. She can accommodate and accept Niamh for so much but if I was to transition to Niamh full time she thinks she may not be able to stay with me. So for now this is the way I am, and to be honest as I don't suffer from any significant dysphoria when I'm in male mode nor looking at my naked body  in the mirror upset me this may be how I remain indefinitely. But Niamh is definitely here to stay.

So the problem is how to manage being out as Niamh in the wide world from a legal/practical identity point of view. There are situations where I may need to produce identity documents (e.g. driving license, passport, bank cards) to support who I am. There seems little point in going through a legal name change process to "Niamh" as that would just create the same problem in the opposite direction. I've considered changing to a neutral name but this doesn't sit well with me. I like my chosen names for the different genders which I present. 
 

I'm less worked up about the pronouns because I can't imagine how I would expect people to work out which ones to use just based on a day of the week - and if I'm honest - while I understand the importance for some transgender people in relation to pronouns, they mean little to me. I'm "me" whether I'm presenting as Niamh or my male version.  Pronouns are someone else's problem - not mine!

 

So going back to practical/legal considerations - how do other non-binary/genderfluid people manage this. 

 

Note I'm from England in the UK so law will be different from elsewhere (even Scotland!)

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KathyLauren

I have a friend who identified for a long time as gender-fluid, and who recently started identifying as bi-gender.  They are in the military, which is highly gendered.

 

My friend uses he/him pronouns when in male mode, and she/her pronouns in female mode.  I tend to use the feminine pronouns because I know her mostly in female mode.  Except when I am talking about them in a situation where her dual identity is relevant, and then I often use they/them pronouns to minimize confusion.  Their stated preference is to use either male or female pronouns depending on their presentation.

 

They are "out" at work in the air force.  Their official ID is in their male name.  The military does not yet have documents that would handle bigender or gender-fluid members, so their female identity is unofficial, document-wise.  In the workplace, when he is presenting as male, he wears the male uniform, conforms to male grooming regulations, and is addressed as "sir".  When she is presenting as female, she wears the female uniform, conforms to female grooming regulations, and is addressed as "ma'am".  Of course, it is always correct to refer to them as "Capt. <surname>", regardless of presentation.  When on a first-name basis, they use either their male or female first name, depending on presentation.  They use whichever washroom corresponds to their presentation at any particular time.

 

All of this has official sanction from the brass, so co-workers either go along with it willingly (most people) or reluctantly (a few), but all go along with it.

 

I understand that not all workplaces have the same kind of adherence to standards that the military does which enable my friend's bi-gender presentation.  On the other hand, the military does have a reputation for conservatism.  So if they can do it, you'd think most workplaces could handle it with a bit of effort.

 

And, yes, it is a bit of an effort.  I "get it", and I find myself having to stop and think for every pronoun.  I had to proof-read this post carefully and change several of the pronouns for consistence and appropriateness.  But it can be done! :D

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I have thought about changing my legal name, but without changing my gender marker (which would be difficult if not impossible) I don't know if it would be worth it.

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@KathyLauren - Thanks for your response - it is very interesting how the military have responded in your country. But for me, my employment is not a big issue. I work from home almost exclusively and while I spend half the day in teleconferences, we never use video due to the high bandwidth consumption this causes - in a global company like the one I work for, it's difficult enough to get everyone to work well enough on voice. And given that I don't get worked up about how others perceive me, there seems little point in insisting that they call me XXXX/He on Monday and Tuesday and Niamh/she on Wednesday to Friday. The hear the same voice either way.

 

My issue is much more how to identify myself when out shopping/driving/going to events on those days that I am Niamh, but only have ID documents that show me as XXXX.

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KathyLauren
2 hours ago, Niamh said:

My issue is much more how to identify myself when out shopping/driving/going to events on those days that I am Niamh, but only have ID documents that show me as XXXX.

 

Until I got my official name change, I had no ID in my new name.  That didn't stop me from going out as Kathy, both part-time, initially, and eventually full-time.  I introduced myself as Kathy whenever I was presenting as Kathy, and as <deadname> when in male mode. 

 

I was seldom asked for identification.  I used credit and debit cards in my old name, but since everything is done electronically these days, with a PIN number, I was never asked to sign either name.  I did get stopped by the police for a registration and insurance check, while presenting as Kathy.  I produced my documents, which were in my old name and showed a bearded guy, and there was no problem.

 

For a while after my legal name change, I had a driver's license that showed my name as Kathleen, but my sex as male!  That document also got seen by police at a check stop, and got no comment or reaction.  (I did eventually get my gender officially changed, so that is no longer an issue.)

 

In most places, it is legal to call yourself anything you want, as long as it is not done for fraudulent purposes.  For most everyday purposes, you don't have to have documents that prove that the name is yours.  If your documents don't match your presentation, you might have to do some explaining.  I was ready to do so, especially on those police stops, but I never had to. 

 

Unless you live somewhere that is exceptionally hostile to out kind, I would suggest just calling yourself Niamh when you are in Niamh mode, and not worrying about it.

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2 hours ago, KathyLauren said:

 

Unless you live somewhere that is exceptionally hostile to out kind, I would suggest just calling yourself Niamh when you are in Niamh mode, and not worrying about it.

 

Thanks @KathyLauren - that does make sense, and I've been out a few times as Niamh, but always had this concern about how to respond if asked by someone in authority why I am in "disguise". It's as much to reassure my wife - particularly if she ever eventually agrees to going out of our home with me when I am Niamh. She has managed many things she didn't think she ever would - but going out somewhere with me as Niamh  is work in progress. One day - maybe, but I need to have covered all the bases and have answers for all her concerns - many of which are mine as well.

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