New Year, new them

There will be a couple of small changes to how I refer to one of my partners on this blog – and indeed in day to day life – as they continue to evolve and become more comfortable in their expression of who they are. As a loving partner it is no great effort to support and acknowledge them and the smile on their face as I do makes the world a brighter place.

I’ve previously mentioned how lady s had been more comfortable in talking about their gender identity following bouts of dysphoria, and they’re now far happier to use more gender-neutral terms to describe themselves and interact with the wider world. A change of forename and middle name has begun, while still retaining their surname to keep life simpler for the cub. A mix of feminine and neutral pronouns is now being used as well – and so for the purposes of this blog I will start using the latter. It intersects nicely with our existing dynamic. A change of title has also been agreed.

The graphic above is a list I found of a variety of gender-neutral titles used around the world (which of course also appealed to the word-magpie writer that I am, collecting elements I can weave into my fiction). Some of them were familiar, and some of them were new to me – and this formed part of the discussions around how to proceed from here.

Myr stood out in the end for a couple of reasons. One was the sheer geekiness of it being a Game of Thrones reference: the city of Myr being referenced in several ways through the books and tv series. The other reason again referred back to our dynamic – though mainly in an ironic and tongue in cheek way.

So that leads me back to myr s – who remains the same loving and amazing person they ever were, but now comfortable to begin expressing themselves in a more genuine and comfortable way. Love you.

It’s Nearly the Weekend

I don’t know if it’s the tail end of a bug or something but I seem to be very tired again as a consistent base-level status. Fortunately it’s almost the weekend, and in this instance that’s three days off. I’ve just got to get past an early start to oversee an asbestos audit of one of the buildings I manage. Who knew being a library manager could be so exciting?

I’m going to spend a couple of days with lady s – our first catch up this year – and part of it is going to be spent supporting her as she continues to develop and firm up the expression of her non-binary feelings. She wants to have the option of dressing and presenting in a more masculine way as she deals with her gender dysphoria – but has expressed that she wants to continue using she/her pronouns. To that end I’ve offered to help her pick out some masculine cut clothing options while I’m there.

How do I feel about this? It’s an opportunity to go clothes shopping, and as we’re a fairly similar build it does give us both wardrobe options if either of us is visiting the other. More importantly I’m supporting my partner in a matter that has been causing considerable distress and in a way that will hopefully help them feel better.

I have however been told off for suggesting buying a squeaky toy to put in her boxer shorts. No matter what, the teasing and silliness continues..!

My Favourite Mystery

I was rather cross the other week with non-specific elements within my organisation over some changes made to registration options for borrowers. In what probably sounded like a good idea at the time, the gender options for customer details were amended.

A new category was added to the existing Male, Female and Prefer Not To Say categories. The new category is Transgender. At first sight this might seem to be a great and progressive thing – but there’s a pretty fundamental flaw to it.

Every person I know who has been through or is in the process of transitioning identifies as their gender unless they’re trying to make a point, or clarify a complex situation. It’s pretty simple. 

The revised procedure asked for the presentation of a laminated card with the options on it so that people could point at their preferred option. I, and a healthy percentage of people in the organisation, pushed back on this. We called it a potentially embarrassing (for customers and staff) way of implementing something that nobody wants, in a way that draws attention and compromises confidentiality.

The alternative would be to, oh I don’t know, maybe ask someone how they’d like to be addressed? That way you can scoop up doctors and professors too in your honourifics. Otherwise the proposal felt like a tick box exercise in demonstrating support for diversity.

But what about gender-fluidity I hear maybe one or two of you ask? Well again, it all comes down to engaging in conversations and talking, rather than picking labels. For example, one of my partners, Mre B, has what she describes as a wibbly-wobbly approach to how she see herself. 

Mre B largely uses female pronouns through habit and making life easier in work and social contexts, but as with most things in life along the line, things get interesting and pleasantly out of the ordinary. As Warren Ellis wrote in Planetary: “It’s a weird world, let’s keep it that way.”

So we’ve adopted Mre (pronounced Mystery or Miss-tree depending on mood) rather than Lady on the blog out of a desire to acknowledge that. The fact that it makes her smile when I call her my favourite mystery is just an added bonus.

Basically, just keep talking to each other okay? We’re all weird in one way or another, and all have oddities that aren’t always obvious. It’s all part of what keeps life interesting and fun and out of the ruts in the road. Mysteries are there to be explored and understood, not reduced to labels.