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Thread: "Sir," How much longer do I have to tolerate this term being used/applied towards me?

  1. #1
    Paulette-Passion FurPus63's Avatar
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    Unhappy "Sir," How much longer do I have to tolerate this term being used/applied towards me?

    Two years on hormones. Two years this May living my life 24/7 as a woman. Two years, dressing, applying make-up (every morning) waxing and shaping my eyebrows, growing my hair, learning how to style it and doing the best I can, practicing walking, talking, sitting, standing, holding my hands, etc.., etc... etc... The cost, the money invested, the time, energy, psychological and emotional pain and suffering, gender therapy, the whole nine yards! All of that. All this I go through and have experienced over the last two years, the time, the energy. All of it!

    Yet despite it all. Today, while sitting quietly waiting my turn at the pharmacist, not having uttered a single sylable (so it couldn't have been my voice tone) the girl at the counter says, "how can I help you, SIR!!!!!" That aweful word that makes me feel like I've just been shot with a gun or stabbed with a knife. That three lettered pronoun that insults me worse than if they had said, "f... you!"

    I have a Masters Degree in Psychology, work as a gender therapist (I am not advertising here just stating a fact) and am as professional as they come. Yet I walked out of that place (having received my perscription for t-blockers) got into my car and blew up! I screamed, cried, yelled out at the Universe, "how much longer and how much more do I have to do before this stops?! What else do I have to do?!" I sat there filled with tears and emotionally distraught. It took several minutes for me to get myself together.

    It's been a long time since I released that much negative energy. I guess the frustration and stressors of the last few days had their tole on me and I just gave in to the tears and emotions. I had to or I would have gone nuts!

    Does this three letter pronoun cause an emotional reaction within you? Does anyone else or has anyone else had this kind of experience?

    It's embarassing to write about and admit to you all; and yet I feel I have to. This is where I go to "vent." This is what I need to do for me. Hope you, my friends and aquaintances here on this forum don't mind. I sometimes need to explode and get things off my chest.

    Transition is hard! Being Transsexual sucks sometimes! Gender Dysphoria bites the big one!!! That's reality. It's what we have to live with every day and sometimes there's nothing else that can be done except cry!

    Paulette

  2. #2
    In transmission whowhatwhen's Avatar
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    Did she emphasize the "sir"?
    I wonder if it's just a case of a prick being a prick.

  3. #3
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    I just say "it's ma'am if you don't mind" in the same tone of voice I'd use to tell someone "you are an idiot!"

    I try to think about what got me clocked - understanding some of it is hard to fix.

    It does suck though Paulette, I know it does.

  4. #4
    Aspiring Member Christen's Avatar
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    Rude, Narrow minded, Bigoted people are just that. Hold your head up and let Karma get her in the end.

    Christen x
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    and rightdoing there is a field.
    I'll meet you there.” - Rumi.

  5. #5
    Just A Simple Girl Michelle.M's Avatar
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    "Sir," How much longer do I have to tolerate this term being used/applied towards me?
    Depends. How long does it take for you to say “Please go and bring your supervisor here.” and then instruct him or her as to how this particular employee should treat a customer who does not seem at all to look like a “sir”?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christen View Post
    Rude, Narrow minded, Bigoted people are just that. Hold your head up and let Karma get her in the end.

    Christen x
    Nope. Society is made better one corrective action at a time. Bigotry aside, this is also a customer service issue, and when common sense and the desire to make a fair and just society does not win out then dollars will.
    I've gone to find myself. If I should return before I get back keep me here to wait for me so I don't go back out and miss myself when I return.

  6. #6
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    Possibly forever? I don't mean to sound cruel or blunt but as a shrink/therapist you should know that there is no cure for ignorant and or clueless or cruel people. IF you don't want the same thing to happen to someone else, I would make an effort to visit with that same pharmacist for drug related advice [and possibly record the conversation] if you decide to turn them in to management.

    You never said how your interaction went once you stepped to the window? Were they civil and/or professional then?

    Sorry this happened to you and no, I feel fortunate in that I don't have to deal with folks like I am sure you do.

    I hope you don't let this "fool" make you feel bad for too long.

  7. #7
    Silver Member I Am Paula's Avatar
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    Wow!! I've been sir'ed ONCE, and I was mortified. Luckily the woman in line behind me called him an a$$hole before I said anything. If I was in a store, I would ask for the manager asap.
    A while back, in line in the ladies room at a gay bar, a girl looked at me and said there's probably a free urinal next door. She was best ignored, but the bigotry can even come from within the LBGT community.

  8. #8
    Swans have more fun! sandra-leigh's Avatar
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    A month or two ago I asked to speak to the head pharmacist (who is also the store owner) and whined about the staff calling me Sir / Mr. Well him more than the others. He's a gentle fellow and I know he didn't mean any offense: he just never thought about the idea that someone who presents female might prefer to be referred to as female. It hasn't been long enough yet for me to say "it hasn't happened since", but it is meaningful to me that I did something about the situation. They know now. Perhaps I will need to remind them again a couple of times, but if it is going to take (say) 4 repetitions at least I have the first out of the way instead of getting internally upset about when they are going to Notice and Draw The Right Conclusion.

    I go to three different branches of my bank semi-regularly; one close to home, one downtown, and one near my gender therapist. At the later I usually end up getting the same teller. Today, as is not uncommon for her, after verifying my ID (regular procedure) she asked about what transactions I would like to do, using my male name (which would have been on her screen.) I told her that I go by Sandra now. Yup, I know that it isn't in the banking records at all; I don't know if the bank can even add a "preferred name" to my account -- but I took the first step. Perhaps after the second or third time it will stick that I'm not wanting my male name used. It might take time, but it has begun.

  9. #9
    Aspiring Member Dawn cd's Avatar
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    Just trying to understand. Is the word SIR in capitals her emphasis or yours? Was it an innocent mistake or deliberate cruelty?

  10. #10
    John JohannaH's Avatar
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    I guess we are all different. I don't take offence for being sir'ed. But then women in Texas get sir'ed all the time, even from a genetic woman. What amazes me is I can be dressed completely drab - an olive drab T shirt with a pocket with jeans and suede shoes that almost look like hiking boots and I still get ma'amed. Of course, when I open my mouth and talk in my voice which is a cross between Johnny Cash and Joe Friday of Dragnet I no longer get ma'amed. But I don't really care.
    I wrote the text in the caption last night, and after some reflection, later thought the post might upset the feelings of others. Recently I have steered clear of touching on emotional topics and concentrating only on body effects of HRT and related topics. However due to a lapse of judgement last night I wavered from my policy.

    If I have upset or offended anyone I apologize.

    Johanna
    Last edited by JohannaH; 04-05-2014 at 08:39 AM.
    John - Please use my legal name John. I also prefer masculine pronouns referring to myself.
    Been on M2F HRT for over 8 years
    Don't mind if I am addressed as Sir or Ma'am as long as I am treated with respect.
    Just don't call me "Maggot".

  11. #11
    Member bas1985's Avatar
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    The world outside is a mirror of our self-perception.

    In these first months of transition I have seen that 100% of the times if I get "sir'ed" there is a reason INSIDE me.
    In the sense, maybe I am too much with the mind in the clouds, day dreaming, forgetting to smile, going out
    dressed en femme but not totally convinced with my look (maybe the hair, maybe the make up).

    In your particular case, nevertheless, I would do

    1) never return in that shop

    2) return in that shop but accepting her view. If she sees a man it is my "problem", not hers.

  12. #12
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    I still get misgendered - around where I live mostly, people still remember me as him. When I am out of town though and it happens it shocks me a little. Does still happen from time to time.

  13. #13
    Diamond Member Persephone's Avatar
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    Damn, Paulette! Like you, I feel very hurt when it happens. It sounds like, fortunately, it doesn't happen to you very often. Same here. But, I know how you feel, when it does happen it feels horrible. My day goes from "terrific" to "miserable" in three letters.

    I'm trying to learn how to deal with it, to make it their problem, not mine. Here's my method. I'm learning to stare at them with a shocked expression and firmly say, "Excuse me?" Then I just pause and continue to stare.

    Did it recently to a parking valet at a club with mostly male members and he immediately went into full apology mode, "I'm sorry! Most of the time when I open the driver's door it's a guy behind the wheel and it's so automatic and I really wasn't thinking, please forgive me, ma'm."

    Then I go to some quiet place, pull the knife out of my stomach, and (I'm really trying) to then go on with my life.

    Can I offer you an e-hug?

    Hugs,
    Persephone.
    "If you are living the life you want to live you've successfully transitioned to being the person you want to be." - Eryn.

    "If you truly care about me you should damn well want for me what I want for myself" - Michael Westen (Burn Notice)

    -.-. --.-/-.-. --.-/-.-. -../ Persephone™ and Persephone™ are trademarks of Persephone herself, accept no substitutes. The terms "en femme" and "en drab" originated with Marcia Sampson/Staylace (OBM).

  14. #14
    Junior Member Lilo's Avatar
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    Sometimes there are no managers to report to. Sometimes you cant complain to anyone higher up or decide to not visit that 'establishment' as some point out. Sometimes you have to 'grab the bull by the horns' and confront that person and correct him/her.
    Two days ago a kid in my class 'sired' me while asking a question during a lecture. I was also fully dressed. I answered his question and then added '... and, it's Miss by the way'. It threw me completely off balance and it took 5-10 min to get calm again and lecture normally. I actually felt bad for the guy who looked honestly confused and embarased. Yet, I felt proud of myself after doing it because it set an example for the other students in the class. I am sure it is my voice that triggered it and I am working on that.
    I feel like calling a manager will only create resentment and not fix anything. We need to correct the individuals and respect ourselves rather than rely on a 'nanny state'.
    I still hessitate to correct people some times but in retrospect I feel empowered whenever I do.
    Last edited by Lilo; 04-05-2014 at 01:05 AM.

  15. #15
    Member Ann Louise's Avatar
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    I was misgendered by a blood technician at a local clinic, rudely, crudely, with a smirk on his face. I was so upset that I put on my "professional" hat so to speak, wrote a very pointed letter to the head of HR of the entire clinic system (it's a big, many-officed clinic system), and got that b@$!%&d FIRED. I cc'd the Goddess on down, even the names of attorneys I didn't really retain, and the head of the local ACLU. It worked honey. The only power we'll ever have is the power we generate and apply oursleves.

    I ALWAYS correct misgendering On The Spot, regardless of whose prescent, and have developed my own personal technique (there are many), that I end up making THEM the ones who slink off in embarrassment now. I feel for you in my heart, and my eyes water up thinking of you and all the rest of us who still have to take this shit. We're the true pioneers dear. The older "first generation" girls certainly started it, but WE are the ones who are going to force this society and culture to regard us with dignity and respect, even it it's only to our face, and they're really choking back rage at having to treat us properly. We must be strong, you already know this. It's just gets so tough sometimes. Your sister in trans, Ann
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  16. #16
    Swans have more fun! sandra-leigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bas1985 View Post
    In these first months of transition I have seen that 100% of the times if I get "sir'ed" there is a reason INSIDE me.
    In the sense, maybe I am too much with the mind in the clouds, day dreaming, forgetting to smile, going out
    dressed en femme but not totally convinced with my look (maybe the hair, maybe the make up).
    You can hide a lot of things, but unless you do prosthesis makeup you can't hide a nose like mine. I am likely to continue to get misgendered most of the time unless I get FFS to reduce the nose and raise the cheeks.

  17. #17
    Bad Influence mechamoose's Avatar
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    I don't have anything to contribute other than this, hon.

    /hug

    - MM
    - Madame Moose - on my way to Anne
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    "I yam what I yam and tha's all what I yam." -- Popeye the Sailor
    "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?" - Hillel the Elder

  18. #18
    Paulette-Passion FurPus63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bas1985 View Post
    The world outside is a mirror of our self-perception.
    ...
    2) return in that shop but accepting her view. If she sees a man it is my "problem", not hers.
    How can you say it's my problem? You obviously don't have a clue what you are talking about. It is NOT my problem! I am aware that perhaps my reaction to this needs to change and I need to learn how to just laugh it off. But to say it is my problem when it is obvious that this person has a problem with me being transsexual is again NOT my problem!
    Last edited by Rianna Humble; 04-05-2014 at 04:36 PM.

  19. #19
    Member bas1985's Avatar
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    sorry, I should have clarified the origin of my point of view. I follow a spiritual teaching that basically says that the outside world is not existent and the only reality is our consciousness. So everything is OUR problem, because everything does not happen by chance but it is the result of our (mostly unconscious) projection.

    That said... it is clear that also this person has a problem, but his (or her) problem is not yours and your only control is in your reaction to this fact.
    Last edited by Rianna Humble; 04-05-2014 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Do not quote the entire preceding post

  20. #20
    Just A Simple Girl Michelle.M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Louise View Post
    I was misgendered by a blood technician at a local clinic, rudely, crudely, with a smirk on his face. I was so upset that I put on my "professional" hat so to speak, wrote a very pointed letter to the head of HR of the entire clinic system (it's a big, many-officed clinic system), and got that b@$!%&d FIRED.
    Excellent!

    I am all for being gracious and extending charity when the person I am dealing with is confused (that is, I don’t get all that upset when someone calls me “sir” over the phone), but IRL there is no way I’d stand for that.

    Somehow we’ve gotten the notion that we should just take this in stride and shrug it off, but this is no less of a social issue than someone calling an African-American man “boy” or calling any woman by any dismissive, cutesy term. If someone used the “N-word” with a customer, or even in front of a customer, there would be hell to pay and that employee would be gone so fast he wouldn’t even be able to take his shadow with him.

    We’re only asking for courtesy and respect. Anyone in a customer-service position who doesn’t understand that this is what the job requires ought to be compelled to step aside and let someone else who does understand this have his or her job.
    I've gone to find myself. If I should return before I get back keep me here to wait for me so I don't go back out and miss myself when I return.

  21. #21
    Bad Influence mechamoose's Avatar
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    You are who you are. I believe in self confidence, affirmation and self defense.

    If someone has a problem with me, then *they* have a problem. NOT me.

    <3

    - MM
    - Madame Moose - on my way to Anne
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    "I yam what I yam and tha's all what I yam." -- Popeye the Sailor
    "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?" - Hillel the Elder

  22. #22
    Member Contessa's Avatar
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    Hi I am also 24/7 and I was almost done the same way. I was at the Naval Hospital Pharmacy and though dressed as I always am. I was called by my male name. But you must understand why I didn't say anything about it. First I was pretty much the only one there. This was a Sunday afternoon. I did not say anything cause just because I heard a name called and went back to the counter. Did not mean that that was me, and I was picking up my prescription for Estradiol. I did chuckel as I thought he wanted to see what I looked like. The prescription is addressed to me. Nothing was said when I reached the counter.


    I had a woman on the trolley call out to me she said "I know and I love you" Some time you should say something other times not. Just live and next time just say don't call me sir then smile then walk away. You're still learning too. Don't let things get you down life is too short for that. Now think of some good comebacks and use them if you need to. Just make sure to be a nice lady about it.

    Tess
    Last edited by Contessa; 04-05-2014 at 08:34 AM. Reason: grammar
    [COLOR="blue"]Contessa Marie D

    I'm TG. A fem-male so I look male sometimes.

    Dressing is necessary, the type of clothes you wear not so much.

    This above all to thy own self be true!

  23. #23
    Junior Member Lilo's Avatar
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    I also notice it varies a lot depending on where you are in the country. I live in a very liberal city and it rarely happens to me here. When I travel to more conservative places I notice the concentration of ass$&@? and bigots goes way up. I think it may be more socially acceptable in some places to act like this.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ann Louise View Post
    I was misgendered by a blood technician at a local clinic, rudely, crudely, with a smirk on his face. I was so upset that I put on my "professional" hat so to speak, wrote a very pointed letter to the head of HR of the entire clinic system (it's a big, many-officed clinic system), and got that b@$!%&d FIRED. I cc'd the Goddess on down, even the names of attorneys I didn't really retain, and the head of the local ACLU. It worked honey. The only power we'll ever have is the power we generate and apply oursleves.

    I ALWAYS correct misgendering On The Spot, regardless of whose prescent, and have developed my own personal technique (there are many), that I end up making THEM the ones who slink off in embarrassment now. I feel for you in my heart, and my eyes water up thinking of you and all the rest of us who still have to take this shit. We're the true pioneers dear. The older "first generation" girls certainly started it, but WE are the ones who are going to force this society and culture to regard us with dignity and respect, even it it's only to our face, and they're really choking back rage at having to treat us properly. We must be strong, you already know this. It's just gets so tough sometimes. Your sister in trans, Ann
    This is an excellent post! Everyone should read it. Until you stand up for yourself, nothing will change and people will tend to run over you and hurt your feelings at will. I have fought this type of discrimination for 30+ years. Each and every time it has happened, I've call them out on it. I have never had it happen a second time at the same place. Some days it takes balls to be a woman.

  25. #25
    Gold Member Kaitlyn Michele's Avatar
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    I agree sometimes we have to make a judgment call about the method of standing up for ourselves.
    A simple "its maam" is usually all you need...but a smirk would piss me off so bad I hope I would act..


    a quick funny aside...one time I was helping a my friend Karen come home from her orchi... I had to pick her up... this was well over a year prior to my transition, and I went by Michele with my "T" friends at the time...

    Anyway, i'm sitting in the waiting room with dozens of people...(you know where this is going), and the nurse comes out and says..."Michele...Michele...Karen ____ is in recovery and we will have her out as soon as possible.."

    hehe.... so there I am in my pinstripe business suit..and I have to get up and respond to Michele....strangely enough, it didn't bother me at all...it hints at just how powerful it is to be gendered correctly..

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