Dear editors, I'm not transgender, but I try to listen to transgender people, and I read their work so that I can be a good ally. I treat transgender people the same way I hope they will treat me as an autistic person. This is what I have learned.
Transgender people's pronouns are important. Using their pronouns is a sign of basic respect. It's okay if you don't understand it, and it's okay if it's new to you. Just trust them when they tell you what their gender is - they understand their gender better than anyone else can.
If you are a girl, imagine if I walked up to you and called you a boy. And that when you said that no, you were a girl, I smiled condescendingly and referred to you as a "he." You'd be pretty upset, right? And you'd have the right to be. Misgendering is a deeply personal insult.
Transgender people live in an extremely difficult world. Gender dysphoria (a common side effect) is hard enough, but then there's the threat of violence, the bullying (from strangers and your closest family members), the murder rates (about 1/4 chance that you'll die of murder), and the astronomical suicide rates. Our world is incredibly hostile to transgender people. I wish that they would stop dying. So please, the absolute, very least we can do is to respect the pronouns they ask us to use.
I know that this is not an easy subject, and it can be very confusing to people new to the area. I didn't understand it once too. I found a few articles on pronouns to help, and I encourage you to find some Trans 101 websites so that you can hear actual transgender perspectives.
Just to reflect on my reversion just now, whilst it's okay for Amelia to refer to the pronouns that are used within that person - it is not right to insist that others use it as well. This is not about respecting the person. It's about the majority understanding the whole deal. This article is about a person who while they identify as non gendered the general community still sees her as female as that is the way she was born and looks now. To insist on the introduction of the alternative pronouns will only harm understanding. This isn't about communicating with Amelia. Then it becomes an issue. This article is about Amelia and is not a communication line with Amelia. Therefore, the gender pronouns need to be used - otherwise the lack of understanding will be exacerbated and it will do nothing to further the understanding of Amelia and of Autism. TLPG (talk) 03:53, September 3, 2015 (UTC)
- I disagree. I believe that disrespecting Baggs' pronouns is actively harmful to the Autistic community.
- People do have the right to choose how they are called, and we exercise it all the time. You want to be called Autistic, and someone would be a jerk if they wrote an article saying you "have autism." When my dad says "My name is Joseph, but call me Joe," people say "Hi Joe," and when he isn't there, they still call him Joe. We never call Caitlyn Jenner "Bruce." And if I were to call you "she" or "they" (whether you were around or not), that would be profoundly rude, because your profile clearly states that you identify as male.
- I see on your profile that you want to stand up for Autistic people. I think that's fantastic. Our community really needs it, and I'm glad you're here to make edits.
- We can't stand up for one group of Autistic people while throwing the others under the bus. Autistic people are more likely to be LGBTQIA, and these LGBT+ Autistics are especially vulnerable. The way we write Amelia Baggs' profile does influence them.
- If we respect Baggs' pronouns, we send a message to readers that transgender people's identities are valid. We make the parent of an Autistic child more likely to be respectful if the child comes out, which makes the child less likely to go the way of Leelah Alcorn. We tell transgender Autistic readers that it's okay to be who they are, and that they too are welcome here.
- Just as you and I don't say that we "have autism" in order to kowtow to Autism $peaks, we don't need to trample over someone's pronouns for fear that ignorant people and bigots will get confused if we don't. It's called "respectability politics" and we don't have to follow it. Ignorant people can learn. And if they refuse to... is that someone who respects Autistic people in the first place?
- Transgender Autistic people need us. The least we can do is listen when they tell us what to call them. Maybe if we do, then finally the world will start doing the same. MissLunaRose (talk) 15:02, September 3, 2015 (UTC)
- Luna, you are trying to press Amelia's views as correct for everyone and we should refer to all transgenders as such. This is not correct. In fact it insults people's intelligence and harms the understanding of the situation as a whole. Invoking Caitlyn Jenner is inaccurate. Caitlin is a she. That's how it works. Amelia is invoking no gender, hence the use of the terms noted. Amelia can do that for Amelia, but it upsets, confuses and alienates others by generalising it. It's up to Amelia to decide within only for Amelia. Not anyone else. It would be revising history if the article didn't refer to her as female certainly in the past tense, and you can't do that. No one can. That is why the article has to stay at "she" and "her". Or do what the Wikipedia article has done and not refer to gender at all in either way - which in the case of the article here is I think impossible. TLPG (talk) 02:14, September 7, 2015 (UTC)
- I could list all the reasons why I disagree with that statement, but honestly, I don't think it would make a difference.
- Rather than maintaining an edit war or a drawn-out Trans 101 debate, I've made a forum thread where I hope we can get good advice and find a resolution. < Luna didn't sign >
- The Trans debate is irrelevant to both this article and Autism. It has been revealed that apparently the Tumblr blog referenced on Wikipedia is a fake and not the real Amanda. So this means there has been no name change and she is she. Not that it matters but anyway. TLPG 05:04, October 1, 2015 (UTC)
Professional media guidelines
Out of curiosity, I checked for media guidelines about covering transgender people. Here's what I found:
And a news article, from before Caitlyn Jenner came out: http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/the-times-and-transgender-issues-part-one-of-two-on-pronouns/?_r=0
- Irrelevant to this Wiki. TLPG 05:04, October 1, 2015 (UTC)
The reason I changed this page's pronouns was because it is well-known that Mel came out as non-binary and decided to use they/them pronouns. Even the Wikipedia page acknowledges this.
- It isn't well known. This is why I for one consider Wikipedia to be inaccurate. The imputation only came out (and it was only an imputation - which is enough for WP as long as it's sourced and I call BS on that) after she passed away. There were no sources backing it up before that. And even if there were the article should use that change from the point in time she supposedly did it. At the points in time she IDed as female it should remain "she" and "her". I know for a fact as I communicated with her myself online that she was still "she" in 2007 as an example. TLPG 22:22, July 28, 2020 (UTC)