I would like to try to explain in the best way I can, as a FtM transgender individual recently coming into a more formative sense of identity. I hope do not offend you, although I do feel a bit offended by the thread. Put that to my personal bias for now. I'd rather try to convince you that genderfluidity exists and deserves acknowledgement than get too bothered.
I'd always known that some people use alternative pronouns to express their non-normative sexuality, but hadn't really come across it for real (outside of literature) before visiting Elliquiy. It made me wonder a few things, mostly how I feel about using alternative pronouns for people.
I don't have a problem with it, because I respect our individual rights to self-identify any way we like. But I also think that at the end of the day, it's me being courteous - I don't think I have a duty to adhere to somebody's claims that they are hir, hym or shm etc.
Pronouns are an expression of a social and mental construct of gender. There is a divide that exists between the social and mental construct of gender versus the biological expression of gender. Those who identify as transgender or genderfluid (or a myriad of other options) have rejected this gender binary norm socially and mentally. Many trans individuals go on to reject it physically by switching genders.
At the end of the day, you don't have a duty to adhere to it. But when you do not, you are failing to acknowledge us as the people we see ourselves to be. A decent example would be....you consider yourself very set in your gender, right? What if someone called you the opposite gender and refused to stop? That is not who you are. You need to be acknowledged as how you
see yourself, right? To be told you're the other gender would make you feel ugly, incomplete, maybe even freakish. That is how we feel when we are not acknowledged for how we are.
It's okay. It's confusing. But we don't mind questions to help you figure us out better.
I'm writing this because I sorta hope somebody will convince me that there is a deeper reason, beyond social courtesy and good will, for adhering to the notion of gender as an entirely private creation. Because the gender binary of male and female is a massive part of my identity, and I see it everywhere I look. It is reality.
Gender is not a private creation. Gender is a complex social, mental, and physical construct. And when one of these traits is out of balance in some way, a person will likely identify as genderfluid, trans, etc.
I'd like to ask you to open your mind a little bit. Does the existence of additional gender concepts necessarily invalidate your gender? I don't think it does. I don't think our existence diminishes your gender existence. Why should it? I mean, think logically: the genders male and female are reality, yes. But this does not necessarily mean that other gender concepts are not there and should not be acknowledged. In other words, they are not the ONLY reality.
And I don't think having 'third' genders diminishes that... but I don't like being compelled, under the threat of seeming insensitive or bigoted, to play along with somebody's fantasy.
Are you sure you don't think it dimishes you? You have made a rather large assumption--that our gender concepts are a fantasy. Why is it a fantasy? There are people that are born intersexed--with partial or full expressions of both types of genitalia. They are obviously not fantasizing. When you could be both genders, are you obligated to choose from two? I believe intersexed individuals are their own gender. There are people in society that are neuter, too--my uncle is effectively castrated, and he seems to have ceased to refer to himself as "male." Is it such a large step from physical expression of gender to the social and mental expressions that we've gotten to?
I am not fantasizing. I have also been mentally diagnosed as a completely healthy individual. I am in complete control of my own mind, and these concepts are clear to me.
Especially if that person is claiming it is a fully fledged reality and I need to "get on board, or else". (This comes in reaction to a few heated PMs I had with a certain somebody, btw).
I don't think you've been told in a broad sense to "get on board or else." (Although you may have been told in PM, obviously....) You're being asked to provide a common courtesy, to acknolwedge an individual's sense of identity. We would do it for you. Always. And I don't think it upsets the idea of male and female--I think it adds to, enhances, and gives more meaning to those concepts.
Anyone willing to explain to me why third gender pronouns are important? Without spitting in my face first, please (unless you want to take it to RP)
No spit for you. But the third gender pronouns are important because they are a sign of true person-hood. If you don't even make an effort to acknowledge and use our pronouns, you are denying us the chance to be the people that we are. I know it's complicated. I know it's an upsetting concept when you're very comfortable with gender binary.
But it wouldn't hurt you to give it a chance. Genderfluid people aren't really all that common, so overall, I believe this impacts you little, and could make people like me very happy if you accepted us as we are.
Think it over, CupidCatt. I wrote this very late, and it might not be a great explanation, but I hope that you see it is from the heart.