Recently I have the elusive opportunity to “start over” with an entirely new group of people.
I’ve already been introduced by my not-so-temporary shortened name, which doesn’t seem to fool anyone – they always ask if it’s short for “feminine name” and then comment on how it’s a strange way of shortening it. I’ve also been introduced as, or assumed to be, “she.” But I have been wondering if now is a good chance to come out and say “actually, my preferred pronoun is they.”
Because I’ve come a long way from a year ago, and now I can say with certainty that “they” is my preferred pronoun. And now is before everybody gets to know me as “she” – I haven’t even met most people in the group! While that’s not necessary, it seems less awkward. Now is when I have the courage to speak out and come out. This big change is now, and now is the perfect time to start a change.
Because I feel I’d be making too many demands on them – I haven’t even met them and I’m already imposing strange requests. Because it’s too confusing for them, and nobody will understand. Because they’ll stumble and fumble and I’ll have to awkwardly correct them. Because they’ll completely ignore it.
I can come up with several more of these petty excuses. But if I stop lying to myself, it comes down to a simple issue of not being Trans Enough.
Not Trans Enough
I’ve been meaning to write about feeling “Not Trans Enough” for a while, yet it hadn’t come up in a way that affected me directly. Before solidfying my identity as Neutrois (or neutral-gendered, or gender queer, or what have you), I believed I was Not Trans Enough to be Transgender. Not Trans Enough to have surgery. Not Trans Enough to get a name change. Not Trans Enough to ask for a pronoun change.
Yep, the Not Trans Enough syndrome has reared its ugly head into my life once again. The worst part of the situation is that I thought I was over it! Me, a propoent of be yourself, an advocate for non-binary transgender identities, a celebrant of gender variance in all its forms, the first to affirm you are always welcome in the trans* community, a proud gender diverse individual who has struggled to find their way in a binary world. And is clearly still struggling. There are a few Not Trans Enough hurdles I’ve jumped over, and evidently others still stand strong in the distance.
“My preferred pronoun is they.” It’s one short, simple sentence, although one that will probably elicit questions, even if those questions remain politely unspoken. It’s something I’ve been dying to say to many people, but haven’t had the courage to.