Dear Alli

Dear Alli,

I haven't seen my family since before my coming out as trans. Now I have to travel to see them (in West Virginia) due to a death in the family. They have been supportive when texting and on FB with my pronouns and name, but I am worried that they will be more prone to slipping up in person.

How do I remind them gently? Is it okay to do so? I don't want to act like it's "all about me" during such an emotional time, but I also don't want to show that misgendering me is okay.

Aeden Armstrong

Dear Aeden,

The question that you ask is one that many transgender people who have family and friends ask. There is the respect that you give to your parents and most of us always knew that you did not correct parents and others who were older.

I will honestly say that they will slip up, my parents today still miss from time to time, and being that I am around them a lot now, they tend to be much better. I have not been one to spend much time with the pronouns with them as I did not want to do as you mentioned “all about me.”

I would bring hints in from time to time to remind them of the she/her and they usually picked it up quick. The other thing that you can do to help with hints is just smiling at them as they make the mistake as it is positive but you are reminding them there is a change.

I will also say that reminding them as you prepare to visit them that you are coming out as you and that you would like to be addressed as you, not the old. The situation in which you are going to be seeing them will more likely than not bring up the chances for the slips. This is nothing against you and I feel it will be simply an adjustment, especially since this is the first time that they will be seeing you since you transitioned.

As we transition, we are rather fortunate that we have selected our name, we see it daily, we practice signing our new name, and all that fun stuff. The one thing is that our parents, friends and family do not always get this luxury. In some cases, they might get to see us once or twice a month, then they have to remember that we are now someone different when it comes to name, looks and presentation. It is also a transition for them, not that it is bad, and it is just not something that they see daily.

We have to remember that our family and friends are supportive and want to do us right, they do not want to make us uncomfortable. We will most likely be mentally uncomfortable more than they will be.

Thank you,



Copyright 2016 The Gayly - 11/17/2016 @ 7:49 a.m.