My Dysphoria as a Nonbinary person

Hey pals,

I wanted to talk to you guys about my personal relationship with pronouns and dysphoria. This is something particularly personal to me, I don’t often talk about this in general except with some close friends.

So, I use they/them pronouns and only those pronouns. I understand that programming your brain to not use pronouns that you assume is a little difficult but it’s still very irritating when someone gets it wrong.

For reference, if you get someone’s pronouns wrong, DO NOT make it about yourself. So many times I hear ‘oh gosh I’m so sorry I’m awful!’ or ‘oh I’m so so sorry it’s so difficult trying to use those pronouns it’s such a hard habit to break isn’t it?’… phrases like this or similar are centring yourself rather than the person you have wronged. If you make a mistake, quickly correct yourself, maybe a ‘sorry’ but just brush through. I don’t want to hover on this and I certainly do not want to make you feel better for your mistake.

For me personally, I do not want to got any gender surgery or hormones. I’m happy in the body I have, I just feel a complete disconnect from gender full stop. I mostly use and identify with nonbinary but also agender. I personally do not have a connection with or to gender and I feel like I never have. I’ve written things in the past about finding it strange that I have a name at all. I like both names that I go by but generally just feel weird about the concept. The only thing that matters to me is using the right name and the right pronouns. I find it funny when strangers mistake me for a man and call me sir and maybe try to correct themselves and call me miss… that doesn’t bother me. It is a total stranger I’ve never spoken to and in a lot of jobs you are told to refer to people ‘politely’ by using things like sir, miss, ma’am…

It bothers me when people I know can’t get it right, or do the above, or don’t seem to even try. And it particularly bothers me when people don’t get it right when they have not ever known me with my female name, or never knew me when I did identify as cis. I don’t feel like there’s an excuse for getting that wrong, sorry not sorry. And there is definitely no excuse for online friendships. You have space and time for your replies, you have time to think about what you have written and to who, and getting it wrong in text is probably the absolute worst. That tells me you aren’t even trying.

I don’t have dysphoria in any regard except for my name and pronouns. I feel lucky in a sense because the things I want to change about myself aren’t related to gender and don’t involve a long, gruelling process of NHS waiting lists and invasive surgery to feel comfortable. All I need to feel comfortable is for you to get my name and pronouns right, and that’s not a lot to ask.

Our languages are inherently gendered a lot of the time, but English is the least gendered and we still can’t be bothered to just use some neutral pronouns…

~ Artie

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