By Nikkia Bell
As a masculine woman I’ve always been comfortable with myself, but I noticed that when I’m around unfamiliar people I feel uncomfortable. I worry about what they may think about me and whether or not they’re judging me. I’m not used to feeling uncomfortable and this is something I recently discovered.
When someone meets me for the first time they assume that I’m a guy and they refer to me as one. Some people even think that I would prefer to be called male pronouns. When I have to correct people and tell them that I’m a girl it’s embarrassing, especially when people think its funny. When I assume I’m never going to see someone again and they misgender me I just ignore it. No one wants to correct every person they encounter about their gender, It’s a waste of time and inconvenient.
My drumline instructor still misgenders me after knowing me for two years and I’ve told him multiple times that I’m a female. At this point I don’t care whether he gets it right or wrong anymore.
When I’m in public with my mom and they talk to someone they know or meet someone, the person asks, “Is this your son?” My mom used to correct them and say “no this is my daughter.” Now she just says “yes” and keeps it moving. These situations don’t bother me. I find it funny because my mom feels the same way I do about it. I correct people in public sometimes and other times I don’t care.
Opinion writer for The Red And Black, MK Manoylov, identifies as non-binary but is leaning towards being transgender. They’ve dealt with being misgendered as well.
“I work at the Grill and I was cleaning the women’s bathroom and I forgot to lock the door behind me. A woman came in and started screaming because they thought I was a man.”
Manoylov uses the men’s bathroom to avoid situations like this.
“I understand how I look I’m very male-passing so I understand that women feel uncomfortable with that,” said Manoylov.
Being misgendered is something that can’t be avoided. People can’t help the way they look or the way people perceive them. Yet, being misgendered and other situations that LGBTQ people encounter are uncomfortable to be in.
Hopefully as society becomes more accepting of LGBTQ people and issues, hopefully people will stop making gender assumptions. As noted earlier, I’m very comfortable with myself. You should be, too.