Surely You’re Not offended. I’m not, and don’t call me Shirley

I’m always thinking about how offended I should be. It’s a trade off. If you’re too sensitive you push people away. If you never correct then people never learn and change. It’s a bit of a conundrum.

I do’t like getting offended, my natural state to some of this stuff is ambivalence. Most of the time this is perfectly fine but sometimes things irk me. If you’re Trans misgendering is a part of life. It begins from the very first moments of your life. I haven’t fully transitioned publicly, I’m comfortable, though not thrilled, with being misgendered by strangers. I don’t think its their fault. What bothers me is when I’ve told people who I am. I know it can be tough. I don’t present particularly femininely so people go on autopilot and I get gentlemen d and sir’ed d a lot more then I’d like.

Understanding and acceptance are slow. It takes a long time to overwrite such basic life experiences as identifying the gender of another person. It plays into why Trans people make accepting people uncomfortable. By our very existence we challenge their minds expectations. This isn’t a conscious decision usually, our brains are both presumptive and lazy.  When confronted with information that differs from our expectations we are forced to either make further assumptions (the more likely outcome) or put effort into evaluating new information and creating a new response (far less likely).

So with that in mind I try to air on the side of caution with getting offended. Challenge occasionally, not constantly. It takes a while but eventually people learn to start correcting themselves. Then it becomes normal. It’s a marathon not a sprint. If something really bothers you talk to someone about it. Getting annoyed and belligerent doesn’t’ encourage people to reevaluate their bias and discomfort.

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