I’ve struggled to put this into words.
What I want input on is how to go about asking all people how they identify; I don’t want to assume.
Thing is, you ask a cis person their pronouns or ‘how do you identify’ and you (may) get some really strange looks. Then they get offended that you seem to be questioning their femininity/masculinity. You ask a trans person their identity and they (may) get another pang of sadness that they aren’t passing as how they want to be perceived. You ask a genderqueer person and you (may) get a smile in return – but you can’t just ask those who are ambiguous, because that’s simply your perception. I may perceive someone as female when they’re not, and to assume is bad. I may perceive someone as ambiguous when they’re not.
Where’s the right balance? Am I even asking the right questions?
I’d be thrilled if somebody asked me how I identify, but that’s unlikely since I have a beard.
I just want to get it right the first time, so a person gets that feeling of acceptance and satisfaction over being correctly identified.
Maybe I just ask everybody and live with the results, and become friends with the people who understand. And some people can have their understanding broadened. Perhaps.
What’s your experience?