So at my job I just recently transferred to a new area. I befriended what I call a danger hair. Her hair is dyed black and bright red. She has tattoos all over her arms and neck, piercings all over her face. This is the kind of person I usually avoid but at my work I try to make friends with everyone. I will call her Wendy.
In my zone there is another “person” who has never talked to me until last Saturday. “Their” name is a name I would expect a girl to have; I will call them Terry. They have chest feeding apparatuses. If you looked at Terry you would probably say “that’s a woman.”
They are severely overweight and severely depressed. It was nice to have Terry actually open up and talk to me although the conversation was basically limited to the fact that Terry was given dolls and girl toys to play with as a child which Terry did not like. That’s okay, I go out of my way to be friends with everyone. Terry is married to a woman, which I could care less about.
After the shift Wendy gave me a ride home. I was discussing how I like everyone in my new zone, everyone is pretty cool. I told her how it was nice that Terry actually talked to me that shift. Wendy got visibly upset when I referred to Terry as a she. This shifted the conversation towards the fact that Terry is on some kind of hormone treatment program to transition into a man. I apologized for thinking Terry is a female, I’ll be sure to refer to them as a he from now on. But the damage had already been -done- with my danger hair friend I fear. From then on she was scrutinizing my usage of pronouns with a razor. And I had to speak slower now to triple check everything I said.
Whatever, I don’t really care. But I’m bothered a bit. When exactly did it become paramount that you refer to absolutely every single individual on the planet by the pronoun of their choosing? And how am I supposed to know which one they choose? Will the human race completely phase out the use of “she” and “he” and replace it with “they?” How are we supposed to know what to call who what?