Anyway. I remember when TP first changed hir name, I put up on my dorm room door (yes, I am that young) that femalename=masculinename to remind myself that this person whose name I was just integrating into my dreams was changing names. In general, the switch wasn't hard, we'd only been dating for about two months, but it took a while to stick, and the time that it finally did was when I went to visit for a weekend and there were others using the new name and finally it felt right and natural to use the newname.
Being down here these two weeks has been similar. In HarborCity, most of the people know me as a queer woman who dates women. This preconceived notion they have of me often means that the feminine aspects of TP are privileged in our discussions, like deep down ze is really a woman. I, too, am guilty of this tipping of the scales for the sake of simplicity. Here, people just know TP and so there are many people who use male pronouns and refer to hir as a "very busy boi" and so on, and so the masculine side of the scales has been getting some more weight. Of course, there are also spaces down here, particularly feminist places on campus that use the "one drop" rule to make TP a woman, because only women are feminists, right? I don't know if TP thinks of these masculine markers as just as wrong as the feminine ones, but for me they are helpful.
It's not just about pronouns.
Let's think of the definition of pronoun for a minute:
- (grammar) A word that takes the place of a noun or noun phrase in a sentence, but which cannot ordinarily be preceded by an article and rarely takes a qualifying adjective. English examples include I, you, he, she, it, we, they.
Something that takes the place of a noun or noun phrase in a sentence. TP is illegible, there is not language that adequately takes the place of the TP noun phrase in any sentence or situation, this is probably true for most people. However, we need to use these markers as place holders for a much more complex reality. In some ways, once we think of it this way, all language functions like a pronoun, a mere marker for the noun phrase that is our world.
Let's think about a scatter plot for a minute, nothing more than a map of markers. Imagine all the markers that are used for TP, drawn onto a scatterplot. In trying to understand, love, and support the noun phrase that is TP, I've been trying to find a line of best fit. Until I came down here I only had one set of markers, I didn't have the set provided by grad school friends, some of whom are (gasp!) bio-men, or the set provided by the queer community friends. This is what we call a data selection problem.
The line of best fit is shifting, and it all feels very natural.