Question: Corrections

I’ve been trying to get my parents to call me “he” for the last five months and, while they try, how can I gently correct them without seeming rude about it?

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on May 18th, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 12 comments »

12 Responses to “Question: Corrections”

  1. Lyn Aven

    You say they’re trying, but they tend to forget? Sometimes just meaningful eye contact or other body language can be a sufficient clue. Clearing your throat is a little brusquer but may help if the nonverbal hint is missed.


  2. Anonymous

    keep in mind that they’ve been calling you ‘she’ your entire life. it’s not easy to change that immediately, especially for parents. be patient, and be sure to let them know that you appreciate that they’re trying.


  3. Seth

    As the OP, yes Lyn and Anon. They are trying, but they tend to forget. This can be especially awkward when meeting new people- My mom has the tendency to introduce me as “my daughter, ____”. I do completely understand that it’s a difficult switch and I appreciate every time they do get it right and tell them so.

    … But it can still be difficult to recover after being introduced as the wrong gender, you know? I want to be able to, as asked, find a way to gently correct them and not seem rude about it.


  4. Lee

    I’m actually having this issue as well. I’ve been using humor, which has worked so far and no one has been offended by it. When someone uses “she” or my old name, I look around and say “Who?” Then I laugh and say “Oh, you mean me? I’m Lee now.” Or “She? There’s a girl here?” Everyone then laughs and corrects themselves. Just make sure your body language and tone are light, fun, and easy going.


  5. nick

    Good advice, Lee.
    I’m in a similar situation.
    I actually started by asking my parents to stop using female words like ‘girl’ and ‘she’ first and only later asked them to start using male words. But that’s not so easy in english…


  6. epinards

    In a very playful way you can say to them, “i’m just going to help us all by reminding from now on . . not cuz I’m upset or anything like that, it’s just my small contribution to the situation because I know how hard it can be to remember!” If you set it up like that– announce in a friendly way that you’re going to repetitively help remind them– it clears some of the air. Then when they use the wrong pronoun just smile and say what the correct one is. And be friendly each time, and be ready for many many many instances of friendly repetition. They’ll get it. The repetition of friendliness + the correct gender pronoun is a great way to learn. We just all need a little help sometimes.


  7. Shay

    Agh, I just posted a comment and then the internet went out. I’ll write it again:
    I’m pretty much dealing with this problem myself. I think the solution is to be firm but not annoyed-seeming or rude. When they call you she, say, “Not she, please,” or “He, please,” or “You just called me she.” When they apologize and correct themselves, as they should, accept the apology gracefully and then move on. Remember you’re doing them a favor by reminding them and helping them get into the habit.
    At least, that’s what I tell myself when I’m feeling embarrassed or discouraged :P


  8. Gene

    Here’s something I’m trying with names, and it might work with pronouns. I just smile and say, “Please, Dad. Everyone calls me Gene.” I say it like I’m doing him a favor. It hasn’t worked yet, in the sense that he still uses the wrong name and the wrong pronouns, but at least it’s a way to be insistent without starting a fight every single time.


  9. Jessica

    How about a nice mustache? I know someone who got a dog and named it their former name. Then when his parents referred to Susie, the dog would respond.


  10. FTMango

    could you accidently call your dad mom, and call your mom dad?


  11. Jen

    Could you introduce yourself instead of them doing it? Like, “Hello, I’m X and Y’s son/daughter/spawn, nice to meet you”.

    And like everyone else said, it is good they are trying and yea it is hard to call someone Willow if they’ve been Sam for 19 years, ya know?
    Good luck :D


  12. Ark

    I’ve never gotten them to stop using the wrong pronouns. I though that if they’d stop referring to me in their sexist comments that would be okay for me.

    For instance, my dad will say things like, “That’s just the female in you,” or my mom will say, “Sure, now that the man is gone [insert] comes after the women (when it’s only the two of us and she’s clearly referring to me).”

    I actually have a FULL BEARD and someone referred to me as a lady the other day. I’m not even going to get upset because… what’s the point? I don’t want to get depressed again over a clearly blind idiot.


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