Transgendering Student

(1/5) > >>

juvenal:
In today's first class meeting I was calling the roll (as my CC requires) and I follow the form of "Mr. X," or "Ms. Y" as I go through, and one student, to my eye a (Mr. or a Ms.), said (in a class of over twenty), "I'm transgendering to a ... and would you call first my name as ...?"

I said, "How about if I just call you by your last name [as I never use first names with my students anyway] and change the gender I call you by?"  The person seemed to think this OK, so I said I'd make a note, and on I went, with nary a pause to finish the roll.

All this is OK with me (and why not?), but I was touch nonplussed.  Has this point come up in any other class run by fora members?  I mean a public announcement of the transgendering process to the rest of the class?  And this person is still surficially a phenotype much more close to the original gender than to the prospective other.

yellowtractor:
Yes, twice (for me).  I felt and feel that the easiest and most respectful solution is to call students what they want to be called.  This includes nicknames, initials, middle names, whatever.  I also use the gender pronoun preferred by the student.  To do this quickly and normatively is a good lesson for the rest of the class, also.

Both times the student felt it was important to get this out on the table because they were transgendering, i.e. they were in process.  In one case there were students in the classroom who knew the individual before this process was underway and wanted to call him...him, and by his old name.  In the other case (in the other direction) the student told me privately that it was important that she (now he) was able to articulate the claim on her (his) new identity--that this was part of the process for him.

In both cases the student was more visually identifiable, at the time, with their birth sex and gender.

scatterbrain:
Quote from: juvenal on January 22, 2013,  7:25:02 PM

I said, "How about if I just call you by your last name [as I never use first names with my students anyway] and change the gender I call you by?"


Sorry, just to clarify: You asked this because it is your standard practice or because you were uncomfortable using the requested first name? I think you mean it is your standard practice but could read this either way.

And

Quote from: juvenal on January 22, 2013,  7:25:02 PM

All this is OK with me (and why not?), but I was touch nonplussed. . . I mean a public announcement of the transgendering process to the rest of the class?  And this person is still surficially a phenotype much more close to the original gender than to the prospective other.


I am fairly certain that you don't mean to be closed-minded here (as evidenced by your request for advice and your demonstration of interest in accommodating this student's wishes), but perhaps be more mindful of the perpetually socially-awkward nature of explaining this situation to a stranger for the first time. As with any other physical situation that might be perceived as "weird" by strangers (who are unfamiliar with this), it can sometimes be easier to confront the inevitable awkwardness head-on and move past it. Maybe that's what your student was trying to do? I wouldn't read too much into their "public announcement," but that's just me. And I'd hasten to add that I don't think their "phenotype" really matters in this context.

I have several transgender friends who are quite forthcoming about their identities, preferred pronouns, etc. -- so I am drawing from my experiences with them, but of course everyone is different and I could be wrong.

frogfactory:
Juvenal started by saying this is how he addresses all of his students.  I think he trod just fine.

erzuliefreda:
Quote from: juvenal on January 22, 2013,  7:25:02 PM

And this person is still surficially a phenotype much more close to the original gender than to the prospective other.


This is irrelevant. It is polite to address individuals as they wish to be addressed and to respect the gender they are presenting at the time.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page