Why pronouns matter

Sam Hammill, Staff Writer

I recently visited a friend’s third hour for an interview. He is trans, out and proud, but the teacher repeatedly (over a dozen times) let the words “she” and “her” exit her lips when referring to him.

I could see the uncomfortable ache in his face–the pain in his eyes. I know he had the urge to say something, trans people always do, but sometimes we are just too overcome by emotion to let out a peep.

I did my best to correct her, but by the time I had the opportunity to speak, she was already batting me out the door.

This is just one minor example of such ignorant interactions though. I see it everyday in the lives of my trans friends and though I have learned how to pass better, I still experience it a couple times a day myself.

The staff of Novi High School should prioritize using the preferred pronouns of all students, but especially trans students, because of the impact it can have on overall mental well-being of said student.

Walking into an environment where you know your identity will not be properly recognized is painful. It can mess someone up. Especially in the early stages of a social transition.

It stirs up a storm inside of a kid that cannot be understood without experiencing it yourself. It can turn a phenomenal day into the opposite in an instant, whether or not it’s a slip up.

Now, believe me, I truly do understand that it is not easy to switch from one name to another and one pronoun to another after knowing someone for a while, but the best way to combat that argument is simple: If it’s hard for you, it must be harder for the person asking. After all, they are the one that has to spend everyday correcting their peers and possibly even coming out to those who don’t already know.

They came out into a world with transphobia run rampant. They put themselves in danger every day; every time  they present themselves to the world as who they truly are. They are already going through an inevitably difficult time. So, the very least you could do is make a simple switch.