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Author Topic: is it really that stupid?
sachie
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recently i've started identifying as an FTM... i've come out to a handful of people online, and very VERY few of my friends in real life. well, i'm beginning to have problems with one of these offline friends. she says that asking people to call me dakota instead of my real name is stupid because it's not my legal name and blahblahblah. i'm kind of irritated with her, and i feel like she's not taking me seriously. i don't know what i should do.

the thing is, i'm afraid to talk to her about it because i know that if i get her mad, she could always turn on me and blab my secret (being trans) to someone else... i really do not want this getting around school. but i want to be taken seriously. it's so frustrating, grr.

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libido ergo sum.


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logic_grrl
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Wow, that's a tricky one.

Maybe a safe strategy would be to point out to her that lots of people are known by nicknames or names other than their legal first name. You could explain that this is just what you prefer to be called, and that it means a lot to you that your friends use the name you prefer.

quote:
the thing is, i'm afraid to talk to her about it because i know that if i get her mad, she could always turn on me

Do you think that's likely? Has she "turned on you" before, or threatened to do this? If so, then she's clearly not a good friend of any sort. In that case, it might be a waste of time trying to get her to treat you politely, and it might be best to get out of the friendship altogether.


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by sachie:
she says that asking people to call me dakota instead of my real name is stupid because it's not my legal name and blahblahblah.

I can see how it would frustrate you, but can you understand how it might confuse her a bit?

Many people are, by nature, somewhat resistant to change. It's why some of us don't like moving, and why others of us don't like getting out of bed in the morning. Perhaps she is just having a hard time swallowing what's going on in your life? Sometimes when you see things going on in your friends' lives, it can be awfully difficult to roll with them. Maybe this is just one of those issues that will take a while for her to accept. I know for a fact that if I walked up to my buddy and told him to start calling me Henrietta, he'd give me grief for ages. Because to him, I've been BruinDan since the day BruinMom gave birth to me...and he can't imagine it any different.

I don't think it's worth throwing in the towel as far as your friendship is concerned, but perhaps you could tone it down briefly in order to let her have time to absorb it. And if you give it good time and she's still resistant to the idea, fine. You can move on and she can stay behind. There's no shame in that. Good luck!

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BruinDan, "Number Three," PHOM

Beware the naked man who offereth you his pants.


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sachie
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quote:
Originally posted by logic_grrl:
Do you think that's likely? Has she "turned on you" before, or threatened to do this? If so, then she's clearly not a good friend of any sort. In that case, it might be a waste of time trying to get her to treat you politely, and it might be best to get out of the friendship altogether.
yes, i realize that... i'm honestly not sure whether i want to stay in this friendship because of the way things have been panning out lately. she hasn't turned on me, but once when we were fighting recently, she said that it seemed like all i wanted was for her to be an enemy, and that an enemy was an easy thing for her to be. (something like that) it sounded really threatening.

maybe i'm just imagining things though.

as for bruindan's advice... i don't think i really need to tone it down since i wasn't really that out-there in the first place. and it's not like it's all i talk about. but i'll make an effort not to talk about it around her i suppose, unless she indicates that she wants to. do you think that would work?

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libido ergo sum.


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logic_grrl
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It's not necessarily that you've been "out there" at all - it's just that people can take time to adjust to any major change in their friends' lives.

Fixed gender is very deeply-ingrained in people's perceptions, so having a friend you thought was a "girl" suddenly announce that they're actually a guy can mess with people's heads (and people often start acting in very peculiar and irrational ways when their heads have just been messed with).

It's obviously frustrating that people can't just accept your transition and respect your choice of name, but especially if you're not sure how supportive a friend she is anyway, being cautious seems like a good idea.

So maybe leave the topic alone for a while, and see if time helps her adjust to the idea. That may also give you an idea of how your friendship with her is developing anyway.


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