My invisible child…

Okay, zie’s not really invisible, especially not right now while zie’s screaming at zir video game on the computer, but sometimes it feels that way.

My coworkers are great, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think a single one of them has used Jeremy’s correct pronouns even once. I was showing Jeremy’s picture to a couple of coworkers at lunch today and had this conversation.

“This is my child Jeremy,” I said as I swiped my finger across the screen. “Zie’s wearing the cupcake bracelet zir sister made.”

The coworkers peered at the screen.

“He’s handsome,” one of my coworkers said. “He looks a lot like you.”

“Thank you,” I replied. “I think zie is lovely. Zie’s a beautiful child.”

The coworker turned slightly to the person standing beside her. “That’s Michelle’s son Jeremy,” she said as she pointed at Jeremy’s picture on the screen.

“Zie’s not my son,” I retorted. “Zie’s my child. Zie doesn’t identify as male so isn’t my son.”

I swiped to the next picture and showed off Emma with Tiny Cat.

“She’s pretty,” the same coworker said. “She looks like you too and your son looks a lot like her.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “My daughter and my child look a lot alike.”

And so  it went.

Later I got asked to go outside and change the garbage bins. I was standing beside the break room digging out the vest and garbage bags when I heard the chime of a message. I quickly ran to check it.

“That’s why I don’t have a cellphone,” one of my coworkers said with obvious disdain.

“I’m glad I have mine,” I retorted. “I don’t usually check my phone at work but I’m waiting for information about a friend of mine. Zie hasn’t been feeling well lately.

“Is your friend a boy or a girl?” the coworker asked bluntly.

“Neither,” I replied equally as blunt.

“Oh so like Jeremy?” she asked. I sighed with relief far too soon.

“Yes, exactly,” I replied. The coworker immediately went on to refer to my friend as he/him. I didn’t bother to correct her more than once, figuring at least the pronouns were he/him and not she/her.

And then there’s family. Do they think I’m blind? Do they think I won’t notice they, oops, never like or comment on Jeremy’s pictures? That they never liked or commented on zir coming out post? Especially when they are online commenting on other family’s pictures and posts. To be fair, Karen likes Jeremy’s pictures regularly and my Mom (who’s rarely online) likes zir pictures too. Amy never does and has never responded to my private message or the public one. I’ve pretty much given up on Amy.

Well, Jeremy’s asked about four times if I’m almost ready to watch Doctor Who so I better stop writing and start watching. I’ll leave everyone with an amazing cartoon I found on Facebook. It’s credited and linked to the artist’s page so if anyone wants to share it, just click on the link for the URL…

by Robot Hugs

by Robot Hugs

A friend of mine also shared this link with me: What You’re Actually Saying When You Ignore Someone’s Preferred Gender Pronouns

9 thoughts on “My invisible child…

  1. Ooh I’m sharing widely that link on ignoring prononouns. I think we’re going to pull some talking points from there when we have a conversation with my wife’s parents… Love the comic too; thanks so much for sharing both on here!

  2. I have to tell you, that I so envy your child Jeremy… You can tell zir that zie has the best Mother on the planet! , I so wish my mom was as open and supportive as you. I rather like zir and zie, damn wish I’d thought of those terms lol extra cool points for Jeremy for using those terms, and though I don’t know you or zir…. the terms are not all that complicated to get used to and use, so I do get the frustrations when other folks don’t or won’t use them.

  3. Great post! I know exactly where you’re coming from here: pronouns are important to me as a sign that people recognize my gender identity. Being misgendered is disheartening, even hurtful, and when done deliberately I find it offensive and insulting.

  4. Oh, I appreciate the bit about saying what pronouns you like instead of getting offended that they couldn’t guess. I was told once that I should base it off of ‘how they present’. Problem is: a) a guy can wear drag and still identify as male, b) I have no idea what differentiates ‘male’ clothes from ‘gender neutral’ clothes, and c) unless it’s on very thick, I can’t tell if you’re wearing make-up.
    It’s quite possible that I won’t be able to tell if you’re not passing successfully, androgynous, or a cis person with a non-stereotypical gender presentation.

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