Tag Archives: pronouns

Continuing Thoughts About the Job (Three Months In)

People often ask me whether I like my job, or how it’s going. If I’m being polite, I say that my co-workers are nice, and it’s going well. It’s helping me to save money to pay for top surgery (on Friday!) and move back to Chicago. It’s steady, and I’m grateful to have a job in this economy. If I’m being more honest, it sounds something like this: it’s distressing, and it’s frustrating. Dealing with angry people makes me wither a little inside. I hate being called “ma’am.” I feel like I’m not contributing to the world. I almost feel like I’m someone else.  Continue reading

Chris Colfer Makes Me Feel Better About My Voice


In the past four weeks at work, I have been called “ma’am,” “she,” or “Miss” (or “Diane” — really?) by roughly 140 different people on the phone. It’s frustrating, especially since it doesn’t feel as though my voice has been getting much lower in the past few weeks. And then I stumbled upon the video above in which Chris Colfer speaks about his voice on Lopez Tonight. The fact that people nearly always assume he’s a woman over the phone makes me feel so much better. Continue reading

Gender and the New Job

Navigating new situations is nearly always a tricky thing, gender-wise. The past two weeks at the new job have been a bit mixed. Overall, it’s going well (more occasionally awkward than actually bad). I’m out, I think, although not in so many words — I haven’t directly said that I’m trans (no one’s asked), but I have stated that I prefer masculine pronouns in front of my entire training class.  Continue reading

New Haircut and Passing at Aveda

I got a fresh haircut today, just in time for my first visit back to Chicago (tomorrow!) since I left in April. Also, I was called “he” at a haircut for the first time without needing to correct anyone or specifically tell someone that I prefer masculine pronouns. I’m still not quite sure what to make of it.  Continue reading

Recording Studios + Solos = Gender Issues


I sing with an a cappella group, which I love. It’s one of my favorite parts of my life at college. Today, we went to the recording studio to begin recording my senior solo. Recording is usually a lot of fun, but today it was really stressful.

To start with, I’m not a really confident singer, and my sense of rhythm is surprising lacking for a singer. So, I’m recording the scratch track (the track the others listen to as they record, so that we can all be together), and it fails. I’m continually off the proper rhythm. It doesn’t help that they keep using feminine pronouns for me, which only magnifies the discomfort I’m feeling regarding my voice and gets me feeling even more frustrated.  Continue reading

Pronoun Trouble –- Just Read What I’ve Written


I presented my thesis today at a gathering that the Gender Studies program put on. In the short biography I wrote to precede my presentation, I specifically switched between “ze” and “they” as my pronouns. Everything in my bio was about gender, including the title of my thesis and that I founded the trans support group at my college. Nevertheless, the woman who planned the event still managed to introduce me using feminine pronouns, even as she read my bio. She was reading from the paper in front of her — a paper on which I was referred to with gender-neutral pronouns — and she still called me “she” and referred to my thesis as “her thesis.” Continue reading

Culture Shock at Work: Leaving My Queer/Trans Bubble

I started my first day at a temp job today — in a random warehouse in small town, WI. It started horribly. The place was a mess and utterly disorganized, and we waited there for an hour because they weren’t ready for us, but that wasn’t my real problem. I felt so incredibly queer and weird and other, and not in a fabulous, affirming kind of way. Silence and a room full of mostly white, sort of rural, presumably straight and cis people. And then there I was, in my skinny corduroys and hot pink nail polish, with my short hair and brown skin and button-down over binder — not yet passing for male, and reading INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence’s The Revolution Will Not Be Funded in attempts to ignore the awkward silence and not feel so alone. Continue reading

Best. Haircut. Experience. Ever!

My New Haircut

I usually dread getting my hair cut. Part of it stems from the fact that I’m just not very good at standing up for myself and asking for what I want. So I’ll go, and they’ll treat me like a woman, and I wouldn’t say anything, and I’ll end up with a haircut that is, at least, short. And as it grows out, it’ll look more and more feminizing, yet I’ll continue to procrastinate getting my hair cut again because I don’t want to deal with the experience.

Well, enough is enough. Continue reading

How We Apologize

While I was searching for information about the various ways in which people communicate love, I also found something about the ways in which people apologize. It’s another thing I’ve been thinking about recently — I think people need to do and hear different things sometimes in order to really accept an apology.

As I took the assessment (which was part of Gary Chapman‘s “5 Love Languages”), I realized that regret is key to whether I want to accept an apology — does the person regret what they did or said and how it made me feel? A number of the responses didn’t feel right to me — continually asking for forgiveness, or asking how to “make it up” to them, as though trying to re-do something could change what had already happened. It was interesting to gain new insight into how my mind and my emotions work. Continue reading

It Gives Me Hope

Walking down the stairs at my parents’ house this holiday season, one of the first things I noticed was my Christmas stocking. All of our stockings were hung in a row at the landing, hand-knit stockings that my paternal grandmother made for each of us long ago (so long ago, in fact, that I cannot remember a Christmas without them), our names knit into the border at the top of each stocking. Mine, this year, had a little sign my parents had made, which designated the stocking as belonging to “RYAN.” Continue reading