My Parents Don’t Use My Preferred Pronouns For Me

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flamboyantGuy
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2023 5:55 pm
Age: 14
Awesomeness Quotient: I love drawing!
Primary language: English
Pronouns: He/him
Sexual identity: Gay
Location: Maryland

My Parents Don’t Use My Preferred Pronouns For Me

Unread post by flamboyantGuy »

Hi!

I came out to my parents last month as a trans man, after previously coming out as non-binary. I told them I wanted to wear clothes from the men’s section, and have he/him pronouns used for me. They were supportive at first, even my mom (which surprised me, since she’s been unsupportive in the past). My dad even let me go to Kohl’s and bought me a men’s tee shirt and a razor (and taught me to shave! Thank you, dad! :)). My parents tried to make an effort to use he/him pronouns for about half a week after, but then they kept using they/them all the time for me instead since. My mom uses they/them around other adults to refer to me all the time as well, and it makes me really uncomfortable. (Plus I hate it when people talk about using they/them pronouns like “the newest trend”. A couple people did that and it made me feel very uncomfortable.) I really wish they would just use he/him pronouns to refer to me, and call me “son” instead of “child/kid”. I feel kind of petty, because they/them is gender neutral, so I shouldn’t be bothered, right? Also, it could just be habit. But once my mom called me her daughter, and I said “thank you for complimenting me, but I’m not a daughter,” and then she said child instead. Then I told her she can just say “son”, and she told me that she was just going to call me gender neutral terms for now. I feel really uncomfortable with them not using, or even refusing to use, male terms to refer to me. I don’t know how to talk to them about it and they’re probably still getting used to it, but it just feels deliberate sometimes. Like today my dad called me a girl, then corrected himself and called me a kid, then corrected himself and called me a boy (which made me happy), then called me a kid again (which made me feel really bad, like he had missed the mark). I think it’s awesome that some people use they/them pronouns, but they’re not my pronouns. And when my parents call me they/them or gender neutral terms, and don’t even try to call me anything male, I feel like they don’t trust me to know how I feel. It makes me feel sad, and really uncomfortable about myself. How do I talk to them about this?
Latha
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat May 22, 2021 6:13 am
Primary language: English
Pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity: Queer
Location: India

Re: My Parents Don’t Use My Preferred Pronouns For Me

Unread post by Latha »

Hi there, FlamboyantGuy!

I don't think you're being petty at all. Using them/them pronouns is still misgendering you- you told them that you are a man and you want them to use he/him. I'm sorry your parents are disregarding your wishes.

I wonder how you'd feel about trying to be a bit strategic about this. It seems like your mother has been a bit less supportive than your father, and you did explicitly ask her again to use the correct pronouns, which she brushed off. Do you think you could try to talk to your father about this alone, and see if he'll listen to you? You've explained your viewpoint very well here, so you'd cover many of the same things in a conversation with him. You could make your case like this:
  • Talk about how you much appreciate him for taking you to Kohl's/teaching you to shave/making an effort to adjust to this for you. (This is because it is easier to ask people to change something when you start by appreciating them.)
  • Say that you remember that your parents started by using he/him to refer to you, and that made you very happy, but now you've noticed that they are using they/them now.
  • Make your request. You want him to use he/him pronouns for you. It makes you happy when your parents gender you correctly, and you feel bad when they don't.
You don't have to do it in exactly this way, of course. If your father agrees, you'll have someone to support you when you talk to your mother. You could also give your parents an article like this one, so they can do some reading on their own.
flamboyantGuy
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2023 5:55 pm
Age: 14
Awesomeness Quotient: I love drawing!
Primary language: English
Pronouns: He/him
Sexual identity: Gay
Location: Maryland

Re: My Parents Don’t Use My Preferred Pronouns For Me

Unread post by flamboyantGuy »

Thank you so much, Latha! I’ll try talking to my dad this week.
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