2018.10.30

Guys is not gender neutral

Stop calling me a guy. I'm not a guy. I may used to have been something like a guy, in a past life, but I'm not now.

I get misgendered a lot these days, despite over 1.75 years of lived experience as a woman, to date. It happens less since I've been on hormones, but I would say 1/2 of days I get at least one mis-gender. Sometimes from strangers, sometimes from colleagues, sometimes by my family. By misgender, I mean that someone uses a male pronoun or honorific for me.

I accept other pronouns, but my pronouns are she/her/hers. Use my pronouns, and if you are unsure what they are, just use they/them/theirs, or better yet, ask me.

Getting misgendered hurts. I've been working for 2.5 years now to shed my masculinity, and really embrace femininity, to the point that I am physically transitioning. I've always wanted to be a female, a woman, a femme. And now I am.

Misgenders take me back, remind me of all the daily doubt, misery, self-consciousness and embarassment I experience. Remind me that my face hurts every day my remnants of my beard poke through it, that I hate looking in the mirror and have to anyway, and that I have a mammoth task in front of me in transition. I am reminded of all those years that I masqueraded as a man, of all the people who were disappointed, hesitant, or resistant at news of my transition, and that many people would rather see me dead than female.

When I get called a guy, it's a misgender. Addressing me as part of a group "guys" is no less a misgender. It's a microaggression, which serves to continually erase femininity from the public discourse, to erase me.

I am constantly told by defensive people that "guys is gender neutral". No, it's fucking not. I'm not a guy. I don't care that you're not offended by it, that you think it's gender neutral. I'm not a guy. Stop calling me that. If "guys" is gender neutral, then literally any gendered word becomes gender neutral upon addressing a group. But that's complete bullshit. So stop it.

Guys is not gender neutral.