An excerpt from my friend Jane’s blog. Please go read the rest!
Well, it is incredibly dehumanising. It’s invalidating. It’s othering. It means that whatever efforts this person has gone to and if you know anything about gender transition you are aware that it is a process that is so difficult it often – too often – results in a person killing themselves; it is indescribably arduous and painful, whatever their presentation, whatever their wishes, that it’s not “good enough” to be judged female. That furthermore, the person has proactively chosen to refer to them by a word or name that this person does not wish for themselves.That’s pretty disgusting. That this person has gone through this process that is acknowledged to be so difficult as to literally kill people, and is coming to you from what is acknowledged to be a position of deep vulnerability, and the response is to choose to invalidate all that, to choose to, to their face, explain that you don’t think they deserve to be treated with the dignity of any other woman.It is exactly equivalent to using an epithet to refer to someone’s ethnic background. You know they don’t want to be called that, but in your head, they are that, and you are referring to them as that despite their wishing to be treated like a human. The way you want to be treated.