Post-Gender-Mistake Etiquette: Friendly Advice From Women Who are Often Called “Sir”

My buddy Butch Wonders and I co-authored this piece offering our advice on what to do after making a Gender Mistake (believe it or not, you can actually write a whole dissertation about Gender Mistakes).

Things to do after you make a mistake about someone’s gender:

  1. Just say, “Oops, sorry,” and move on like it is no big deal. Because it really isn’t. It’s happened to us before, and we won’t hold a grudge. Promise.

We’d love to end this post here, but unfortunately, personal experience suggests that a second list is warranted.

Things NOT to do after you make a mistake about someone’s gender:

  1. Do not blame the other person. Do not say that our hair or clothes are “confusing” or point out that we are “dressed like a man.” Doing so is embarrassing for you and annoying for us.
  2. Do not overapologize (hint: more than two apologies qualifies as “overapologizing”). We realize that our self-presentation is not gender typical, and don’t think you’re nuts or a jerk for making the mistake.
  3. Do not use it as an excuse to tell us how much you support gay rights or trans rights, or about all the friends you have who are trans and/or gay. This takes a relatively innocuous situation and douses it with awkwardness juice.

There’s more … including some advice based on actual encounters, and a wonderful video about “little titties.” Please head on over to Butch Wonders to read the whole thing.

1 Response to “Post-Gender-Mistake Etiquette: Friendly Advice From Women Who are Often Called “Sir””

  1. 1 Best Gender Mistake Stories | Feral Librarian Trackback on January 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

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