Monday, October 22, 2007

How People Address You

The Transgender Companion, THE MUST HAVE guide for all TG women, from CD to TS,

In life, we have to many times teach people how to train us. If someone is abusing us or not treating us right, we may have to take a stand and tell them, treat me this way. As a transgendered woman, this takes on an added layer, as you will find that many people do not really understand who you are, and don't know how to treat you or address you.

They may call you "him" or "sir" and not realize even they are insulting you. They might be doing it on purpose to insult you, of course, but sometimes they aren't. They might think of you as a man in a dress. That may be ok for you, or that may not. IF it is not, you might have to say, I am a woman, not a man. Please treat me as such. Or if they call your Sir, say, "it's Maam", calmly, but firmly and then continue the conversation or move on.

This has been something I have struggled with quite a bit. People seem to like to make digs sometimes. I was working a few weeks ago, and this one coworker who doesn't seem to like me too much, kept calling me "he" very loudly, almost as if to make a point. Now there were a bunch of people around, so I just kind of turned red and blew it off. To me, I felt like I'd be calling more attention to it if I said something. But I felt hurt and kind of insulted. Looking back, I think I should have just taken a stand and firmly said, "it is she, thank you very much" and stood firm. That is a case of teaching someone I have to deal with on a daily basis (almost) how to treat me. The next time he does that I will. And also, I have found that he is being more nice to me now. Sometimes it just takes some time for people to get to know you as a person. They've never met a transsexual, and are perhaps a bit uncomfortable or unknowledgable at first, and you can do your own little "bit of good" by just being yourself and showing them another side of a transgendered person.

As a waitress, I deal with a lot of people. Most people call me maam and she, etc. But I do have a night sometimes where people seem to like to call me "Sir". And I think, do I LOOK like a Sir. I have even asked, and people have said, no, not at all. But this goes back to not worrying about passability to the point of extreme. It is extremely difficult to live completely in stealth as there are always people who can tell, no matter how passable you are or how much surgery you have had. Look at all the tgirls that have lived in stealth over the years, and then somebody finds out (see to read some of these stories). However, for the most part, nobody knows, which, to me, is living in stealth. You just don't want to feel bad if somebody does know or find out. Be proud of who you are.

Back to my original story. I have decided that as I am dealing with massive numbers of people as a server, maybe I can do a little "soft" education, by just politely saying "it is maam" and then continuing taking their order. That isn't rude to tell people that. If you mispronounce somebody's name, they certainly correct you. This is along the same lines.

However, if someone were to call me "sir" in a busy checkout lane, I might not bother correcting them as I will never see them again, and making an issue of it would just call attention to me in a busy checkout line.

Now, I am very rarely called "Sir" or "he" anymore, but it does happen sometimes. It is something that can bother me still, but I am learning to strike a happy balance between not letting it bother me, and also taking a stand to tell people how to address me. I think it is something we all as transgendered people have to deal with. As a crossdresser, you may not mind being called he, or even prefer it. Each person is different. Whatever you want to be called is just fine. Just let people know that is all. You have that right!!!!!

I hope this helps!!!!!

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Anne said...

Yes! people should address us appropriately. We are humans as they are. Although there are really this offending terms that has been used like "shemale" and "ladyboy".I found this blog I hate the the term he used but I agree with the content Which is Correct, ladyboy,transsexual or shemale?,Can you imagine a TS admirer doing this? He is sharing his personal life and his relationship with a TS. Its totally worth a post. I Just ignore the term he used.