Still troubles me.

Morgan wrote…

In Spanish class last year, we were told to choose Spanish names. I chose Miguel. When I announced my choice, the teacher told me to choose a girl’s name. I refused and ended up with no Spanish name at all. After that day, a war ensued between my teacher and I. I signed all my papers Miguel and used the name in all the speaking exercises. After a couple months, she began to refer to me as Miguel. I won. Although I won, the war still troubles me. I just can’t understood why it mattered so much to her, why I couldn’t just have the name I wanted.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on November 16th, 2009 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 14 comments »

14 Responses to “Still troubles me.”

  1. Jay Joy

    In Spanish, Miguel is a name for boys only.


  2. Keanan

    In Spanish class I chose the name Alejandro. Luckily, my teacher did not really mind much. We never used the names anyway. That isn’t cool that your teacher wasn’t cool with your name choice. Good job on winning the “name war” though.


  3. AgentRusco

    This happened to me in high school. I couldn’t use Jaime. So I used Zopenca instead. It’s the feminine form of ‘daft’. I refused to choose an actual female name. Surprisingly, my teacher let me use that.


  4. Lanthir

    In my highschool Japanese class, we had one kid who presented as male all the time but identified as female, and she talked like a guy.
    One day, after she and another student got into an argument during class, our Sensei took her aside and told her “You know, girls should not say “damare” [“shut up”].” Then she paused for a moment, “But, umm, for you, I think it’s okay.”
    It was one of the best moments of highschool. (^_^)


  5. the other julian

    Way to totally miss the point, Jay.


  6. Adisson

    @Lanthir – I’ve had almost that exact experience. ^_^” My sensei was so great about letting me get away with international gender bending. haha


  7. genderkid

    Before I came out publicly as trans, one of the small ways I expressed my gender freely was in my French homework — I always signed my letters with a male name and used male endings.


  8. rip

    When I was little and having my first English classes (I’m not from an English-speaking country) I picked a certain name of opposite sex for my English name. I was told not to and had to pick a variant suitable for “my” sex.

    I’ve chosen the name I couldn’t have then as my future middle name. ;)


  9. Keanan

    For me it is hard to use the feminine form of words when refering to myself in Spanish class. I think I will start using more masculine forms of words for myself when I come out as queer.


  10. TR Kelley

    I use initials even though my birth name is gender neutral anyway. I had the same situation in French class in 1977, I wanted to be Francois after the character in “Call of the Wild”. My teacher didn’t bat an eye. Wonder if it was because she had a mustache?


  11. Joey

    My Spanish teacher gave me the name Linda (pronounced lean-dah), which was the effeminate but not necessarily female word for pretty.

    And that’s what I am, so it was okay.


  12. Mel

    My spanish class was the same. And one other thing about spanish class, is that every adjective has to be either masculine or feminine…no inbetween, and when I used masculine ones in a prestntation, she made me stop.


  13. Lanthir

    @Adisson–> I’ve generally had very possitive experiences with Japanese people and/or in Japan when it comes to freedom of gender expression. Except for my last teacher. She kept telling me I was “wrong” everytime I used “boku” or other masculine speach patterns, or even gender neutral speach patterns that she randomly decided to percieve as masculine. It was a nightmare.
    My last French teacher was the same way. I’d gotten used to being allowed to refer to myself using masculine endings but with female pronouns, but she graded off fo it every single time, even after I tried to explain that it was on purpose.
    Then again, both of these people are just sort of terrible in general. They’re most of the reason I’m not currently studying any languages at school. (T_T)


  14. Pearl

    Hi, i suppose many people are just intolerent of differences. I am 34 and live in india. But when I was in middle school, this particular teacher had taken a dislike to me because she thought I was too boyish. I was not trying to be boyish at that point, I was just so. On many occasions she would discuss me with my classmates, but I guess they were smarter than her. They never bothered me. One of them once came back upset with the teacher because she had said I think I was a man. I was in Class 6 then. She even went as far as to beat me up at the slightest pretext. She held on to the feeling, and once when I was in Class 10 she slapped me. The entire class was angry.


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