Question: Teacher’s pronouns

Gib asks…

A teacher at my school (also my advisor/mentor) who, though he’s willing to be supportive when I need it, doesn’t seem to mind using “she” and referring specifically to me as a girl.

I’ve talked to him twice already, but I just don’t feel like it’s making a difference. What can I say? He doesn’t seem to get that every time that word is used, another weird look is shot my way and another piece of my life falls out of place. How can I make him understand?

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on March 5th, 2010 at 03:00 pm

Category: questions 6 comments »

6 Responses to “Question: Teacher’s pronouns”

  1. Anonymous

    You could start using “she” in reference to him and see if he starts to get it. :)


  2. Toni

    He, well a lot of people, cannot relate to how you’re feeling. Because you are not like them, a cookie cutter image portrayed in common media, it makes them feel uneasy. Don’t let your gender define you. Find strength in who you are, do what feels right, and make a joke out of his ignorance.


  3. Avery

    You should tell this teacher that it is a safety issue. When people see you one way and then the pronouns disrupt that you are at risk for violence in school. If he cannot get it together you need to go to someone higher up in the administration. He doesn’t have to understand – he needs to just not do it because it puts you in danger.


  4. Chris

    I’m going to strongly agree with Avery here.
    Don’t take crap, and certainly don’t make a joke out of it. (that would be a “crap”py joke anyway). Some people prefer to not have gender define them, while some people like their gender to define them, for some it’s even their main identity. We all need to respect those who choose to identify with one specific gender, and they desearve to have the correct pronoun use.


  5. Keiran

    Like everyone else has said to you so far, you need to explain to him that while you appreciate his support, he does need to watch his tongue. If he’s truly understanding, he’ll listen to you.
    Like Avery mentioned, it could put you in a possibly risky situation. If you explain it to him that way, he’ll be more likely to be careful, I’m sure.


  6. William

    Agreeing with Keiran and others. If you don’t look “like a girl” and he keeps talking as if you are a girl then he could be putting you in danger of harassment and worse from your classmates. Tell him this and tell him it strongly. If necessary, find the statistics of how many trans (and other gender-non-coforming) people are killed each year just for being who they are. You could also get in touch with a trans charity if necessary and ask them to write/speak to him on your behalf. Or, if applicable, get your parents in.

    Make it very clear that your safety is being compromised by incorrect pronouns.


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