Part 1 of the set-up for this post: so last night at a partay, I spent some time chatting with a person who is in the early stages of transition from male to female (on hormones for some months, fretting about raising the frankly mind-spinning
amount of cash needed for surgery &etc). She was wearing a great corset which I was admiring slavishly, which is how we got talking.
Part 2: the latest Australian census is happening in about ten days. I have a friend who's a census collector, so I've already had a look at the form. lauredhel
has already posted on this today, but it bears repeating: there's no allowing anyone to be anything except male or female. That is it. Pick one, and shut the fuck up already.
The meat of this post: I was having brunch this morning with three people who I would consider intelligent, tolerant, giving, loving and au courant
human beings. I was reporting on the party and asking them if the becorseted one might do okay in a particular choir and how I live in fear of using the wrong pronoun with transitioning/transitioned people. This led into general talk of pronouns and, wow, can of worms-ish discussion ensued. They were all kind of impatient with neutral pronouns (direct quote: "everyone else of my friends I don't have to think - but for that person I actually have to stop and think before I say anything." This was before food arrived, and we were all a little short-tempered. STILL.)
There was also some uncomfortable shifting in chairs when I said, that some people think of themselves as gender-neutral or androgynous, yes, but some consider themselves genderqueer.
Blank looks. All round. Then peevedness. Narrowed eyes. Then upset
at this word none of them had heard before. There was squinting at me. I waited while they talked around it a bit more and then I said "...or you could use the correct term, which is genderqueer."
If it wasn't so bizarre to watch intelligent people actually pause in eating food as a new thing enters their consciousness it would be almost amusing. ALMOST.
Again: I'm looking at YOU Dreamwidth, that I can be doing that before my first coffee on a Sunday after getting to bed at 3am the night before.