A good while ago, I was in a bar with various people, including the first trans woman I had knowingly met. I knew she was trans because someone had told me - no-one would guess from just looking at her. She was tall (but not that tall) thin and pretty.
So there was I, in the same bar, talking with some guys about the different cocktails.
"I like that one, and he likes that one," said one guy, pointing in the woman's direction.
"Who?" said I, completely confused.
"Oops, sorry, she."
There were no bodily cues whatsoever about the woman that might cause a slip of the tongue. Nor was this bloke intending to say something hateful. It's just that he'd known her since before her transition two years before, and was too lazy to pay attention to pronouns.
Now, I've seen the same thing happen to other trans people, and read various accounts online in which the person complains "I transitioned TEN YEARS AGO, I have all the physical characteristics generally assigned to my gender, and people are STILL getting it wrong. When I point it out, they go "Oh, but it's really hard to get it right"!"
So... those hypothetical* non-op transsexuals I mentioned before , who go through the unpleasantness of hormone treatments and surgery just so other people will get it right, not because they have to... well actually, they're screwed, aren't they?
And all those people who say that non-op/no-hormones transsexuals, and transgender people, and genderqueer people, should just make some EFFORT to "pass" and it's UNFAIR!! to expect everybody else to respect them even though they haven't had some surgical procedures...
Well, we knew they were complete morons, but now we have some concrete evidence to prove it, in that what they're suggesting doesn't work.
And another rehash of the "but it's so hard!" thing... It'd odd how I've rarely spoken to a trans person who hasn't had that phrase thrown at them when it comes to pronouns.
Surely it just can't be hard to substitute one small word for another, when both of which are equally pronounceable with the human mouth (or hands)? Here are some uses of the word "hard" that I don't find completely puzzling (the word does have a wide range):
It's hard to complete this piece of academic work that is appropriate to, or higher than, my level of study.
It's hard for me to fix a car engine, because I only have the faintest idea how they work.
It's very hard for someone with depression to complete everyday tasks.
It's extremely hard for someone whose family have all been blown up by a bomb to complete everyday tasks.
Is this an autism thing, where I take a word or phrase too literally? Or am I right, and is the usage truly peculiar?
(A confession - they're not so hypothetical, actually. I might be one of them, I might not. Anyway, I bet the poor bastards exist)