Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Subscribe
Search NSRC:      Advanced search  
Sexual Literacy Logo Sexual Literacy spacer American Sexuality Magazine Logo American Sexuality magazine spacer Sexual Research and Social Policy Logo Sexual Research and Social Policy spacer spacer spacer

Monday, March 05, 2007

Clearing the air on gender pronouns in the Save Stanton Petition

Update: Southern Voice has an article in which he references Steve Stanton's request to be called a 'he' until he makes the full switch to Susan.

Since the launch of our 'Stand with Stanton' petition, we have had some signers express concern that we were using male pronouns when we should be using female pronouns. They wrote that since Steve Stanton will be becoming a woman, we should be calling him a her.

We used - and are using - male pronouns to refer to Steve Stanton because:
  1. Our allies are using male pronouns. Equality Florida, whose Executive Director was arrested at the event and has been in personal contact with Stanton, continues to use male pronouns. The Human Rights Campaign is also using male pronouns at its national press office.
  2. Stanton has asked that people that aren't his close family or friends use male pronouns until he begins his transition, according to the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
  3. Steve is self-referring with male pronouns. Refer to his NPR interview and other media quotes.


  • I think you are all wrong.

    If Stanton "came out" it means the change to the opposite gender is OFFICIAL.

    My advise to Stanton is that SHE insist on using HER new name and be pronounced correctly in every way possible.

    I further advise that SHE immediately proceed to officially change HER names on all her official documentation.

    The operation do NOT make "him" become "her", she was born a woman only with the wrong genitals.

    True transsexuals (mtf) do NOT become women, they ARE!!!!

    I find it sad that official “support” groups fail to understand this simple reasoning. If I were Stanton’s therapist I would have advised her the same.

    In all up coming court documents and media reference, Stanton should INSIST on being referred to in the female persona.

    If nothing else, it WOULD demand respect for her as a woman and pave the way to better understanding of transsexualism in the broader public.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 09, 10:56:00 PM PST  

  • Stanton is presently a male as I'm assuming he has male genatalia, thus the use of male pronouns is correct.

    By Blogger Don, at Sat Mar 10, 08:27:00 AM PST  

  • Actually, that is a very large presupposition. The "set in stone" opinion that male genetalia determines that you are fully a male is really the heart of this whole controversy. If we accept that notion as truth, then are we not claiming that transgenderism is a myth because obviously we can't be women if we have male genitals or men with female genitals by your own statement. I think Stanton has the right to use female pronouns. I also believe Stanton has to make that decision, and none of us can make it for him/her. All of us who have been through this know how hard this is. We should also know how much pressure there is, even from supporters of transgender rights, not to challenge the basic assumptions of what makes someone a man or a woman. However, it is our very existence that challenges this assumption, and therefore I think we all need to take a long hard look at that definition of "male" or "female" and why we support TG rights.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 10, 09:03:00 AM PST  

  • Great to hear from everyone. I know this is a complicated issue, and we should definitely try our best to get right. Thanks for chiming in, folks.

    I feel most comfortable, and I think a fair amount of people would agree with me, using male pronouns because its important to respect Stanton's wishes. It's his process, not ours.

    By Blogger Isaac, at Fri Mar 16, 01:28:00 PM PDT  

  • The proper protocol is to refer to the person in accordance with their presentation. It's not uncommon for someone in transition to go back and forth a bit. It's not ideal, but the world rarely is. If the person presents female, you use the female name and female pronouns. If the person presents male, the reverse is true. None of that, has anything to do with the condition of the genitalia.

    By Anonymous Julie, at Thu Apr 12, 01:16:00 PM PDT  

  • Look,

    Steve is what Steve is. Calling someone him or her does not change who he/she is or affect his/her gender identity. If Stanton is self-referring to himself as He or Him that's his prerogative and does not make him any less transsexual. Referring publicly to Stanton as He if that is what he is requesting for the time being is not any less respectful of his gender identity or the gender identity of trans people generally.

    If the opposite were true, it would be impossible for anyone's gender identity to differ from their gender assignment.

    By Blogger Nicole, at Thu Apr 12, 01:24:00 PM PDT  

  • As a mtf (male-to-female) Transsexual myself, I have to disagree with this pronounce and name issue.

    When I came out after 40 years, I CAME OUT. That meant CHANGING and DEMANDING my pronouce and name to MATCH my "new" presentation.

    People who jump back and forth, should NOT come out only to go back in. This points to bad counseling and equally poor advise from the TS's therapist.

    The Harry Benjamin SOC clearly recommends the steps towards coming out which is a long process and will differ from person to person depending on when THAT person is ready to do so, COMING OUT.

    In all fairness to MISS Stanton, the pressure she feared materalised (objection from her employer) BUT she ALREADY accepted her position in her transition procress by COMING OUT and this turning back is NOT GOOD but a negative sign of hesitance of having made that decision to transition.

    What is said, is said, there is no turn back and it would be unethnical for Stanton and all TS folk to accept some form of compromises to retain her job. One such compromise would be to DRESS MALE and NOT USE female toilets "until" surgery HAS been completed. NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!.

    THe operation does not make Stanton BECOME a woman, she has been a female all her life, just had the wrong genitals.

    This case is ALL TO IMPORTANT to get it wrong for the future of all transsexual folk internationally not only in Largo.


    By Anonymous TS West, at Thu Apr 12, 01:31:00 PM PDT  

  • TS West,

    Would you feel it appropriate for a non-transitioning TS (ie. assigned male at birth, with a female gender identity) who nonetheless chooses to live as a man with no plans to transition to use the women's washroom?

    Alternatively, does the choice of such a person render their gender identity invalid?

    If gender identity itself is the determining factor, perhaps transition is not ever necessary. The concept of transition itself indicates that something is changing. And "coming out" ie. identifying one's gender identity, does not equate with transition. Living "in role" is perhaps the turning point, without necessity of medical intervention, despite the fact that for many ts people, medical intervention (either or both of hormonal and surgical intervention) is medically necessary to allow the conflict between gender identity and physicality to resolve in the interests of the individuals health and safety, not to mention existential and social requirements.

    A final point is that one lesson that TS experience teaches us is to respect the experience and choices of individuals and not to sacrifice an individual based on social role requirements.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Apr 12, 01:56:00 PM PDT  

  • Comments about what Steve "should" call himself are inappropriate. What works and what fits for one transgender person doesn't necessarily work for or fit every TG individual. "Coming out" means different things to different people. Saying it automatically & immediately means you change your name or your pronouns is also inaccurate. Just as Mr. Stanton's enemies are projecting their own issues onto him, so some TG people here are also projecting--- just because you came out one way and chose one approach to language and pronouns, it doesn't mandate that every other TG person follow your lead. Stick to the point of supporting Mr. Stanton's rights as a TG person, and leave your own issues about how he "should" transition out of it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Apr 12, 09:30:00 PM PDT  

  • I tend to side with TS West on this one. Yes, one size doesn't fit all when it comes to transition, but, if someone is go PUBLICLY transition, it is very ill-advised to switch back and forth. Certainly, there may be occassions when a transperson needs to re-assume their former presentation (i.e. to visit an elderly relative as one example), and in those cases, it is appropriate to revert to the former name and pronoun use. I agree with TS West though, that if you're going to transition, you need to not publically go back and forth. It does cast the entire transition process in a capricous light. This is serious business, and should be treated seriously.

    By Anonymous julie, at Thu Apr 12, 09:49:00 PM PDT  

  • Has anyone asked Stanton?

    With friends like you folks.....

    I would call Stanton "mustard" if he asked me to. Anything to help his transition.

    How much of Stanton's journey if his and how much if it is yours?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Apr 13, 10:05:00 AM PDT  

  • They'll use what is legal,as in legal documents. D.L

    By Blogger Tammi, at Fri Apr 13, 02:45:00 PM PDT  

  • "True transsexuals (mtf) do NOT become women, they ARE!!!!"

    True transexuals do not become husbands and fathers. They don't wait until they are forty eight.....

    The trans movement is full of fantasy......

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Apr 22, 06:59:00 PM PDT  

  • ANon,

    Ignorance is pretty much like transsexualism, BORN IN!

    "True transexuals do not become husbands and fathers. They don't wait until they are forty eight....." ????

    This is typically the view of someone who has NO idea what it is to be Transsexual. You have no idea of what true transsexuals faced 40 years ago. I was forced to live the life of a "man" and do what a "man" is suppose to do, such as become a father and a husband.

    People like you are the reason why people like me had to hide.

    Those days,however, are over. I stand up for what is right NOW, even if I am 50 years old.

    Transsexual is clearly defined as someone who has a different mind gender from the body gender and that person ACTIVELY seeks gender reassignment surgery.

    There is no such thing as a non-transitioning transsexual. That person is at best a gay cross dresser or a transvestite.

    The sad thing here is that not only does society get the technical terms wrong and misunderstood, but transgender people do too.

    Before you make any further Anonymous comment, I suggest you take the time to go and read and understand the difference between transgender and transsexual.

    Once you do, then come walk in my shoes for half the number of years I had to, and then, attempt at responding to me again.

    TS West.

    By Anonymous TS West, at Sat Oct 13, 05:18:00 PM PDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home