Transgender dilemma- are you Paul or Paula?

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A transgender individual is a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

Having a transgender friend comes with its complexities, like what to call them after their transition. Some of these are innocent ommissions that come subconsciously. Like when you were used to calling them by their old name yet they expect you to use their new identity. You also don’t want to appear as judging them because they have received enough of that from the society.

I have done this a few times and gotten nasty looks from my friend. Sometimes I don’t know what to call them and their new name just doesn’t seem right. It’s like playing pretend. This should not come out as if I am pocking fun at someone’s dilemma or painful journey. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Sometimes thinking of talking to transgender individuals feels like walking on eggshells. This is so when you are clueless about what is offensive and what is acceptable. So I have embarked on a mission to unlearn some things and learn the proper etiquette.  I never knew that calling trans people by their former name is called “dead naming“.  Apparently, there are things you should never say to a transgender person.

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I just felt like leaving this quote here-from Shakespeare’s book Romeo & Juliet, 1600:

What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.


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