Although transgender people aren’t that uncommon anymore, how we should address them still hasn’t been clearly defined. Nonetheless, here are a few guidelines as to which pronouns are the most acceptable among transsexual folk and why.
If you’re even remotely acquainted with the you probably already know that this is a somewhat taboo subject even to this day, where people are claiming that we’re supposed to acknowledge at least 76 genders instead of the traditional two. Being a transsexual isn’t just about taking crossdressing to the next level or being somewhere between a man and a woman – it’s something that people identify by and something that defines who they are.
This brings us to the question of pronouns. Different gender identities harbor different pronouns, so if you’re looking to find transgender dates, you better know how you should address them and why.
1. Ask First
Before you even assume which pronouns your transgender date might be using, it’s probably best that you ask prior to addressing them by any pronoun.
There’s no shame in inquiring about your date’s pronouns. It’s not easy to guess which one he/she/they picked, especially with so many different gender identities that can be found nowadays. Once you learn exactly which words you should use when addressing your date, things will get a lot easier and you won’t have to bash your head against a wall trying to figure out if you’re on a date with a ‘he’, a ‘she’, a ‘ze’, a ‘xe’, and so on.
This is by far the most gender-neutral option, as it conforms to neither male nor female, yet it can define both at the same time if need be.
Kit Wilson, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, made the headlines in 2015 with his definition of ‘they/them’ pronouns. They said: “Neither end of the male/female spectrum is a suitable way of expressing the gender I am. Sometimes I feel ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ at the same time, and other times I reject the two terms entirely.”
Like we’ve said before, the pronoun ‘they/them’ is your best chance at staying as neutral as possible, especially if you have no clue as to how your TS date likes being addressed.
Unlike ‘they/them’, you can try your luck with ‘he/him’ or ‘she’ if you’re feeling confident enough. However, this requires a whole lot of listening and observation.
Although the gender identity movement is doing everything it can in order to establish the newly-invented pronouns in the English language, it may still take some time and effort before any of them actually become a part of everyday speech. This, among other reasons, is why most transgender people still prefer the traditional ‘he’ and ‘she’ pronouns.
If you didn’t ask already or haven’t used the pronoun ‘they’, try figuring it out simply by listening to your date. Transsexuals, just like straight folk, are prone to talking about themselves on dates. This means that you’ll get a chance to hear how your date talks about themselves in third person, so that you don’t have to ask them or wrongly assume which pronouns they prefer.
Ask them to tell you a story from their past and don’t be afraid to navigate them to the point where they have to tell you how someone else talks about them.