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Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Most in the transgender community can relate to the incorrect use of pronouns and misgendering of a transperson.  It's difficult, however, for someone who is not trans to let go of the pronoun, or name, that they have used for years when referring to a son, daughter, brother, sister, good friend, etc.  As we all have read in so many blogs, it hurts the most when the misgendering is coming from the immediate family.

Gretchen, a cis-woman, has a child, born female, who feels he is a boy.  Gretchen, however, just can't let go of the "she" when referring to her child.  She explains to us just why this is so difficult for her.  She's losing her daughter.  She's been through the denial stage of the five stages of grief but this is one that she still has to work out with herself.  To quote Gretchen,

It may be selfish, but it's the last thing I have that I'm grasping onto.

I think it's safe to say that many transsexuals are so focused on their transition that they often overlook the fact that a transition is not just about "me".  For family and friends, it is also means a transition.

Please take a look at Gretchen's blog, Trans-Parent.  It's written from the heart.  Her current post is Pro-Nouns.


  1. There may be an even simpler reason for pronoun errors: PVI, or Parental Verbal Inadvertance syndrome. I have two daughters (neither trans), and I have been known to call them by each other's name, their mother's name, even the family dog's name. Were either of them to change gender, I can easily see myself screwing up the pronouns, not out of an inability or unwillingness to adapt, but just because I'm a Dad. We screw up sometimes.

  2. Thank you for posting this Calie. I'm glad that you understand this. It's definitely a WIP. Dr. J, My mom calls me by my sister's name all the time. It's nice to know she has a syndrome. haha!--Gretchen

  3. My parents, sister and everybody that I grew up with until I left home calls me by my middle name which is what I used until I left home.

    Everybody that has known me since, with the exception of my brother-in-law calls me by a shortened version of my first name, something that happened as a result of the first place I worked not asking which name I used.

    Fortunately the two groups that call me different names don't normally interact.

    Of course their all going to have to learn to call me by another name once I transition properly. :)


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