Going by My Initials

“I have a non-binary gender identity.  A lot of people don’t know what that is here.”

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Transcript for Going by My Initials

I just kind of assumed it was normal that everybody felt like, you know, like sometimes they’d wish to be the opposite sex—that that had to be normal because that’s how I could reconcile my feelings with my faith.  And so, when I came to the realization of those feelings, partly because my freshman year, a good friend of mine came out to me as trans.  And I knew that friend wasn’t stupid, so I started looking it up, found out it was a real thing.  And it was just a lot of soul-searching because of the people I knew, and when I realized, ‘Ok, I have a non-binary gender identity,’—a lot of people don’t know what that is here, and a lot of people don’t even fully understand trans issues because trans issues aren’t really out in the open yet.  So it’s just small things, like when I first came out, it’s like, well I have to continue using the women’s bathroom simply because, you know, sometimes time-of-the-month needs.  And there just aren’t that many gender-neutral bathrooms around here.  There’s some in the Union, but that’s about it.  So it’s just kind of like, on certain days, it’s like, ‘Well, I need to pee, but I’m not going to walk in the men’s because no one’s going to think I’m a man if I have boobs.’  I don’t want to be seen as a man anyway.  So it’s just kind of a thing.

And I mean, I did used to go by my birth name.  And after like, the semester after I realized about my gender identity, I requested to start going by my initials because I felt like it felt better.  And it was a difficult transition for some of my friends, but they got over it.  I mean, they did it, and now it’s normal and it’s nice.  But even though my friends—some of my friends know this about me, it’s like it hasn’t fully registered.  And like, some of the friends who I know are actually pretty good on like, trans issues and LGBT issues will still refer to me as a woman.  And it’s like, ‘You know, I don’t really want to explain this.’  So I generally just kind of sit there and be quiet in my little corner knowing that they kind of misgendered me.  Because like, it’s just—a lot of times, it’s just not worth the fight.

  • Jordan Bires

    It’s refreshing to hear someone talk about being transgender. While I myself am not transgender, I have a few friends who are. They have told me about the struggles they have faced, and they are pretty similar to the ones mentioned here.

  • Natalia Terzic

    I think the mention of misgendering and how the speaker chooses not to say anything to avoid confrontation is really interesting; it shows that you should always be conscious of what you’re saying and how it affects others, and you should acknowledge that just because someone doesn’t outright correct you or get upset with you doesn’t mean that you aren’t being offensive. It’s sad that something like misgendering someone is so often disregarded because respecting someone’s gender identity is SO important. That’s nothing against the speaker, of course; it’s just sad that other people can’t comprehend the importance of getting one’s gender right.