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Thread: I'm sorry but what do I call her ?

  1. #1
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but what do I call her ?

    On the end of my walk yesterday I saw the guy who lives two doors away so I stopped tp ask if the water from the fields behind was giving him problems in his garden . For a moment he didn't say anything then realised who I was , the last time I spoke to him was just after I moved in three years ago when I spoke to him in male mode . The conversation then drifted round to gender issues and he mentioned a person in a wig and wearing women's clothes often drops into a garage/workshop of a friend , then he stubled saying but I don't know what to call him...her ? So I pointed out it could depend on having surgery or not , if he/she has then she should be addressed as " She " . He shrugged his shoulders saying he didn't know but the person called Maralyn doesn't really talk about the situation .

    This conversation is very typical of the ones I've had before , even if we are on hormones and had sugery unless we have the need to tell people they really don't know what to call us . I've had a roasting in the past over the subject of labels on the forum , we get heated over them on the forum but it doesn't really explain it to the general public .

    OK in this instance he remembered me in male mode but to save him from stumbling over what to call me I told him my name which was Terri , so then he said, " hi Terri , I'm Dave ."

    I could have thrown so many labels at him but they would have been wasted , I have to smile when some members tell people , " I'm just a crossdresser !" that's really stating the obvious not unless the person has poor eyesight .
    The real me , no going back.

  2. #2
    Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    Congratulations! You survived a conversation with an idiot. For future reference, it's always safe to simply use pronouns that reflect the gender that an individual is presenting as. Even if they look like a MIAD.

  3. #3
    Aspiring Member SaraLin's Avatar
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    I don't know, Teri, but I think I disagree with you a bit.

    I like to keep things simple. If the person is presenting as a woman (hair, outfit, etc.) then I'd respect that and use female pronouns like "she"
    If presenting as male, use "he"
    MAID - I'd probably still use "he", but I might be inclined to ask.

    What the anatomy looks like underneath (surgery or not) is nobody's business - at at least not until things get a bit more personal.

  4. #4
    I can only be me Samm's Avatar
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    I agree with SaraLin. One of my best friends is a ts woman. She's been on hormones for 20+ years, but no surgeries whatsoever. She is a she, and has always presented as such, even as a small child. I know when I dress fully and present female and I'm out in society, I expect to be referred to as she/her. As for anyone presenting "in between", I think it's ok to ask if done so tactfully. I know I wouldn't mind educating someone who really wanted to know what the proper pronouns to use are.
    "Samm" Sammara Michaels

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  5. #5
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    Sometimes, we encounter a person who's gender is unclear. It's not as simple as "dressing" as a woman or "presenting" as a woman. And the English language makes it very difficult at times to get around the "he or she" or "his or her" thing. For a dog or cat, one can say "it", but that is insulting to a person.

    I found my self in an ongoing business situation with such a person. Not only did this person have a "non gender specific" hair cut, and a "non gender specific" body (no visible hips or breasts), she wore no makeup and wore work clothes. And for a name, she went by a single letter of the alphabet.

    I didn't feel comfortable asking her so eventually I found her on Facebook and found a reference to "she". I later talked to one of her co-workers and the subject came up. The co-worker said he had lost a $20 bet on her gender when he first started there.

    This business deals with a lot of customers and it often causes confusion. I have gently corrected some of them when appropriate.
    Krisi

  6. #6
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Although you handled the situation well and introduced yourself as your true self, I disagree on the time when you use feminine pronouns. Teresa, you are absolutely a she to me. Go by the gender expression. There is no way to know if someone has had sexual reassignment surgery and it is definitely offensive to ask before you have gotten to know the person pretty well. It is like asking a woman if she has had a hysterectomy on first meeting. You just don't go there. If a person is expressing female, even if they have a beard, then the safe approach is to assume "she" pronouns are best and most respectful.

    If the gender is ambiguous just gently ask what they prefer but if you can't ask and they look like their sex is male but are showing signs of being female leaning then use she instead of he. Keep in mind that gender goes to how a person identifies and is largely separate from their sex. Sex and gender are barely even connected.
    Last edited by GretchenM; 02-02-2021 at 08:39 AM.

  7. #7
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Wait... What?!
    The proper pronouns are determined the presence, or not, of certain body parts?
    That is a stunningly ignorant, disrespectful and inappropriate approach to the matter. If there is doubt, and it must be said that there often is, the proper thing to do is ask, sincerely, which pronouns the person prefers. Even if the person in question identifies as "just a crossdresser", it is a perfectly appropriate, indeed polite, inquiry. Yes, in many circles this still viewed as an overly "PC" approach, but then it was not that long ago that sarcastically referring to any effeminate AMaB as she/her was OK. We can do better.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Monica,
    It's harsh to call him an idiot , he was trying to be as tactful as possible but also very honest . I can't say how the person was dressed as I can only go on his description , all he added was he/she didn't look too bad .

    SaraLin,
    I must admit it's quite hard to know where we pitch the line between he/she we have our own interpretation on the forum but it may not be the same for the general public . I'm glad we didn't get onto the question of NB .

    Samm,
    I'm out as Teresa but some people I knew in male mode do slip up .

    GretchenM,
    As I replied to SaraLin pitching it right is tricky when talking to someone who has hardly come across trans issues before , I'm sure he'll go away giving it more thought which is the important point .
    I enjoy going out with my friend who has fully tranistioned because we are very comfortable in each other's company , as you say people cannot know the difference , it's a lovely feeling to know she trusts me not to let her down , at the same time we do have some fun with the people we meet .

    May I also thank you for your kind words .

    Aunt Kelly ,
    Please read my replies to SaraLin and GretchenM before getting too heated , We are talking about a polite conversation between neighbours here , not some heated overdebate on the forum .
    Last edited by Teresa; 02-02-2021 at 09:21 AM.
    The real me , no going back.

  9. #9
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    I would say to default to the gender they are presenting.

    If they object then politely apologize and use their preferred pronouns.

    But if you want to be safe use "They, Them" pronouns and ask them what they prefer.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jean 103's Avatar
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    It is very simple male pronouns for men and female pronouns for women.

    It goes to how the person is representing. This is why I say don't go back and forth on people.

    Do not ever address a woman with male pronouns unless you absolutely know that this is how the person wants to be addressed.

    The public doesn't care or need to know what it under your clothes.

    There are a few things I do to make it easier for them. Like I wear bright red lipstain, so it says. Blush so that is shows, color on my eye lids, normally green to match my eyes, and hot pink nails. I don't care if this goes with my outfit, think of it as more or a sign. I also shy away from clothes that appear male. It is why I'm almost always in a dress or skirt.

    These are a few things I do to make my life easier.
    Last edited by Jean 103; 02-02-2021 at 10:55 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonicaPVD View Post
    Congratulations! You survived a conversation with an idiot. For future reference, it's always safe to simply use pronouns that reflect the gender that an individual is presenting as. Even if they look like a MIAD.
    The man is hardly an idiot. How many transwomen do you think the average person on the street meets? Perhaps the man needs a little education, but, that's about it. Teresa did not even allude to a contentious conversation. I'd cut the guy and anybody else a little slack.

    If you think this is all obvious to the average guy I can give you a case of obvious confusion. My wife's second cousin is a transman. The last time she was at our home due to the nature of her presentation of clothes and hair style, you could be confused. Short hair. Masculine clothing; jeans and shirt. No facial hair. Yet, the cousin is a transman. Fast forward to today. Cousin is very very pregnant. A very very pregnant transman whose features could go either way; male or female. Yet, I have known her as a female and now a pregnant male. I think it is safe to say the average man or woman on the street is confused.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pumped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonicaPVD View Post
    Congratulations! You survived a conversation with an idiot.
    That seems a bit harsh. More so when we have these discussions here and we have trouble deciding when he is a she. I can understand why people may have issues with pronouns for an obvoius male on endogenous clothing, or for that matter even wearing a dress. Right in this sight we have guys wearing dresses that identify as male. The general public has to be confused!

  13. #13
    Aspiring Member Kimberly A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teresa View Post
    I could have thrown so many labels at him but they would have been wasted , I have to smile when some members tell people , " I'm just a crossdresser !" that's really stating the obvious not unless the person has poor eyesight .
    Hi Terri. First of all, I can't say that I've ever been in a situation like this or had a convo such as the one you had with your neighbor..... Anyway yes, I'm one here who tells other members that "I'm just a crossdresser", as I did when I first joined the forum. Now me, I have no problem with labels, some people like them, some don't. I'm just sort of like, "Meh, whatever you wanna be called is up to you", so it really doesn't matter to me. LOL But I felt the need to tell other members here that I'm just a CD'er, not trans, not gay or bisexual or even associate with LGBT at all..... Just my 2 cents.

    [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE]

    Quote Originally Posted by MonicaPVD View Post
    Congratulations! You survived a conversation with an idiot.
    Hi, Monica. I wouldn't go as far as to call the man an "idiot" or "stupid" or anything else, because for one, I'm guessing he's an older gentleman and perhaps doesn't keep up with all the latest things that young uns keep up with? For example, perhaps he doesn't fully understand transgenders or crossdressers, or maybe even LGBT at all. And if the man just chooses to not be "educated" on such matters, then it's really not relevant to him and that's his choice.

    [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE]

    More of my 2 cents worth in this thread. LOL..... Anyway, I agree with y'all when you say that a person should be addressed and acknowledged with the pronouns in accordance with the gender that he or she is presenting as. Whether the person is a GG, GM, CD'er or transgender, I think it's just right to address that person as "sir", "ma'am", "he", "she", "him" or "her".

    Now, I have been addressed as "ma'am" when I go out en femme and I love it. LOL When I'm out in male mode, I get addressed as "sir" and of course, that's all to be expected.
    I may be crazy, but I'm BURIED in your memory!

  14. #14
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    The issue of the correct pronoun is a relatively new issue and so for those a little older and more set in their ways not something they're familiar with.

    My guess is for us here we would say use the pronoun most suited to the persons presentation. Presents as male, he, female she. Yes there are going to be times when we're face to face on it's unclear but that is a different situation. He and she generally are used in the third person as are most pronouns. I can't think of a situation were I'd refer to someone I'm talking to as she or he.

    Of course there is the matter of those who might refer to themselves as MAID and for the casual observer then "they" would be the most likely choice unless advised otherwise.
    Who dares wears Get in, get out without being noticed

  15. #15
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    I guess the point I missed in the conversation with my neighbour , he didn't say if Maralyn always appeared as such or did male mode when doing some work the garage /workshop he mentioned .

    I was in my usual presentation with light makeup , wig , jeans and a warm jacket and my wellies with pink roses on them .

    Jean,
    At least my neighbour knows what name to call me , so he hasn't got to worry about my gender label .

    Stephanie/Pumped ,
    The guy was pleasant enough but the important thing was he was honest and accepting as he said he didn't have a problem with Maralyn .

    Helen,
    To be honest I'm glad the conversation didn't touch on the NB question or MIADs , I'm not sure how many people outside our communtiy get their heads round " Them and they " .
    Last edited by Teresa; 02-02-2021 at 12:55 PM.
    The real me , no going back.

  16. #16
    Super Moderator char GG's Avatar
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    I might add that before my hubby became a CDer, I never knowingly ran into a trans person and/or CDer. The general public is not as informed as those on this site might think. I would think that some gentle education is in order but nothing more than that.

    Teresa said the conversation was not inflammatory so she handled it the best way that she could.

  17. #17
    Aspiring Member Kimberly A.'s Avatar
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    Hi Helen. Since you mentioned this, I have been in a situation before where I saw a GG, but she was dressed in attire that most men in my area would wear..... She was wearing denim overalls and a white t-shirt with a ball cap, she wasn't wearing makeup and her hair was very short. I saw this person a few years ago at a karaoke bar that I went to once. It was kind of dark in there and I referred to the person as "him". SHE corrected me and I apologized to her but in that setting, as dark as it was in that bar and with her pretty much dressed like a man with short hair and no makeup, I sincerely thought she was a man..... Turns out, she was a butch lesbian and I hope that term doesn't offend anyone because I'm certainly not trying to offend people here. LOL

    But my point is, sometimes it can be unclear as to the person's gender whom you're seeing or conversing with.
    Last edited by Kimberly A.; 02-02-2021 at 12:58 PM.
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  18. #18
    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
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    That's easy Teresa, address and describe the person in the gender they are presenting.
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    and beauty will follow.

  19. #19
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    Teresa, I've been out dressed a lot at T friendly venues and sometimes vanilla ones with other T's or alone in Vegas. I've been called everything under the sun. The only ones I didn't like were, "Buddy, Pal, and, Hey u!"

    To date no one's ever asked me if, "I've had surgery", before deciding what to call me!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

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    I find it very offensive to ask anyone if they have had surgery for any reason.

    Pronouns have nothing to do with surgery.

  21. #21
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Roberta,
    Please read my replies to SaraLin and GretchenM before getting too heated about my comments , my intention wasn't to upset anyone . To the outside and very much uninformed World how do we put the gender message across ? Sometimes they see a thinly disguised man dressed in women's clothes , is it a he or a she to them ? My explanation was an obvious obvservation for my neighbour not a comment to irritate and annoy members here .

    The basic point is people will stumble over this issue and as some have pointed out gender recognition isn't always that straight forward . OK I've been lucky up to now that I don't get misgendered .
    The real me , no going back.

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    Theresa, as always you are so very well grounded!

    I too agree the man was not an idiot and you handled that in a very appropriate manner; in my humble opinion.

    I hate that simple disagreements can turn so emotional, and admire the aplomb with which you respond

    As always "you rock"!

  23. #23
    Sunshine Gal AngelaYVR's Avatar
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    Sometimes you have to look beyond what was said and see the intention. Any muggle who tries, whatever their true intent (nervous chat, genuine interest) to understand what even we argue about ad nauseam here, deserves a civil response.

    Back in the days of yore when we could socialise, I was asked occasionally about how I classified myself. It was never easy to convey exactly how I felt and sometimes I took a circuitous route to get there. Let?s just let everyone take responsibility for their own descriptions and keep out of each others hair.

    I think Teresa did ok other than the brief foray into surgery, but I would just put that down to accidental verbal flow over the weir.

  24. #24
    Member Alexis00's Avatar
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    If you see any presentation at a college these days, the speaker always introduces themselves and then their preferred pronouns. Haven’t seen it in the business world.

    There was a “Did you just assume my gender?” Meme in 2016.

  25. #25
    Aspiring Member Geena75's Avatar
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    Intent plays a big role in this. For example, probably about 10 years ago at work I approached a customer, almost brush cut hair, androgynous clothes, stout build, in my tool department. At some point I referred to them as "sir" and was quickly corrected. I apologized and went ahead assisting her. I wasn't sure based on appearance so I made a best guess. My intent was to be polite, not make a judgement. Good manners from good intentions are to be encouraged.

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