As a transperson, there’s things you just have to learn to deal with. Especially when you’re not really passing.
Now these are things I’ve experienced so there’s a strong chance that this isn’t a universal experience for transpeople or maybe it’s just transmen. Who knows.
So, one thing I’ve noticed a lot is that people see you and immediate look at secondary sex characteristics and immediately determine based on biological sex what your gender is. And yes, most of the time it seems accurate. It’s just sort of where people are right now. They don’t mean to misgender, it’s just something that happens. I’ve become used to that, I might internally groan and feel annoyed, but I try and swallow it down. It’s not usually worth correcting if it’s not someone I interact with closely.
That being said, when there’s a situation where a tiny bit of effort and self-awareness can fix that? Well, that just tends to anger me. Let me explain, because there is a story about this.
I’ve been studying at a U.K. university since January. While here, all of my files and such say my preferred name, Jason. Like it’s all very clear in my files that I’m Jason and they know my deadname.
My student id even says Jason and I won’t lie, when I got that I felt close to tears it was just so awesome.
I was being recognized, validated.
((I am sure I could fix it at my home university, fix my id there and get all the paperwork and such fixed but I have my reasons for not getting into that process.))
I got an email recently asking if I had time to talk to the students here who were about to go to the U.S. to study, some going to my home university. I immediately jumped on the chance because, why wouldn’t I want to brag about UNCG?
When I replied to the email, I signed it Jason. Usually when I do this, despite the email address (the name you put when you make the account) the person I’m sending the email to picks up on what’s happening.
Instead, this time when I got the reply, they did two things which left e dumbfounded and pretty angry.
They put my deadname- and they didn’t even spell that right. Now, I’m white- I’m never going to understand the crap POC’s have to go through when others make fun of, misspell and all that kind of stuff with their names.
But seriously? They weren’t able to see that I signed my email Jason? Or to glance up at the name associated with the email to make sure its spelled right?
One thing that’s pounded into students heads again and again is be professional, correct and to doublecheck our emails. Especially when they’re to people who work with the university.
It makes me wonder why I should put in the effort when emailing them, but they don’t have to?
Because I don’t have a fancy title or a job at a College or University I deserve less respect?
How the heck does that make sense?
Sure, nothing in life is fair but a general rule to give minimal respect to others seems like a great idea.
I thought that the ideas of respect and effort were cornerstones of most universities. Maybe it’s just different here. Maybe they don’t care.
Or maybe, it was just a honest mistake though in my experience? I doubt it.