Uh yu ka t'ann
- May 17, 2019
- Reaction score
The hypothetical title I used was very much tongue in cheek... however, when it comes down to it, we are talking about a state of mind. That you call it hyperbolic (which it was) tells me there is a limit to how much you are willing to cater to someone's state of mind. I am willing to assume that you'd think someone who is adamant that they be called all of that to be a bit crazy. Now, I am not saying I think transgenders are crazy (feel I have to disclaim that, not for you, though).like what? Using a pronoun that student prefers?
I've had I don't know how many interactions with students over the years and I've seen some interesting requests from students and at some point personal judgment comes into play
one example was a student who wanted me to use "African American" instead of "Black." In my research, I use both - academics of all colors use "Black" as an acceptable term.
This student didn't like that, so I just stopped using it - and used "African American." And yea, I slipped up, too.
This is something central to that student's identity, as is gender and other core elements.
That's where and why I think your hyperbolic, hypothetical requested title isn't really a reasonable comparison.
I think this language around "white gloves" and "catering to *all* things" and "no matter what" is more handwringing than the scenario you're reacting against.
Maybe you have some other instance in mind vis a vis accommodations, but this doesn't seem to have the burden you're placing on it when it comes to the teacher in this situation.
Aside from your colleague, Rhonda/Robert, how many transgender people who are struggling have you had experience with? In what context and at what ages? And you said you stopped calling her Robert and calling her Rhonda. Why?
As for someone who wants to be called "African American" instead of "black", it's different too. Being black is not a state of mind.
As to why I stopped calling my co-worker her old name, I eventually got used to it. Side note, didn't have the same issue with the Oracle rep I worked with. She went from Jeremiah to Kate (not actual names either). It may be because I didn't meet her in person until after she went to Kate, and the names were very different and very different sounding. My co-worker's given and preferred names are both soft sounding, you could call a female either one.
As for my experience with transgender people specifically?
The first transgender person I met, I was a kid. Friend of an uncle of mine who was gay and was very involved in theater. That was before the term transgender became popular. I knew them as travestis, which is/was the term in the Spanish speaking world.
As a teenager, one of my father's businesses put me in contact with other transgenders. That one requires a bit of an explanation, but is long, so I'll skip it... suffice to say, it had to do with show business. I actually met
As a young adult, going to college, I lived in the French Quarter for a number of years. My favorite deli was The Quartermaster, who at the time was staffed by a significant number of transgender people. I must confess, I flirted with some to get some extra macaroni salad.
I also used to go to The Parade on Tuesdays for their $0.50 rum and cokes. The Parade was more of an all inclusive club back then, but met plenty of transgenders there.
There was Angie (again, not real name), who used to frequent this locals bar in the Quarter. This wasn't a gay bar or anything, just a regular bar. She made money as a chip girl, and sometimes doing sexual favors in the bathroom, although the bartenders didn't like the sexual favors part. When I first met Angie, because of past experiences, I knew she was transgender, but if I ever met a passable transgender (that was a proper term back then, don't know if it isn't anymore) that was Angie. She was really funny too. And more than a few times, I had to defend Angie from angry drunks who realized too late she was packing, actually got in a fist fight once or twice.
Edit: to make it clear, that wasn't because I defending anyone's honor or anything. It was my hangout, I new the bartenders/wait staff, and just naturally (I guess) stepped in when trouble arose. And if someone swung at me, I swung back.
I guess those are the significant ones. I don't know if that gives me enough cred, though.
Funny... some people see me doing things with my left hand and they ask me if I am left handed with a surprised look on their face. I can imagine it can be hard for many to see a person as a man one day then as a woman the next.