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Gender Your Guide Ch. 4 - 7 Discussion Questions

1. In chapters 4 and 5, Airton explains the importance of Practice when it comes to using someone correct pronouns. Did the idea of “practicing” pronouns surprise you at all? What are some ways we can all practice in the future?

2. Why is it important to NOT make a long extended apology when you get someone’s pronouns wrong? Why does Airton advocate for a simple “Sorry,” then a rephrasing of the sentence in the correct way?

3. Why is it important for ally’s to do the work of correcting others on pronouns? What language/tone should ally’s use when correcting people on someone else’s pronouns? \

  • Don’t be harsh or mean, be gentle and keep it simple Avoid saying “it’s okay, or, it’s no big deal” (bc it’s not!) and instead say “xxxxx is very understanding, they know it can be difficult to remember,” or “no need to stress about it too much, you’re still learning”

  • Do not display exasperation or frustration with the person you’re correcting, this will dissuade them and it will inevitably lead to anger being directed at the queer person you’re trying to help.

5. Why is just using someone’s name and avoiding pronouns not great a great allyship tactic?

6. What are some reasons someone gender expression / presentation might not align with what we expect their gender identity and pronouns to be?

7. Why does Lee warn against the policing of who can use they/them pronouns?

8. Let’s talk about the difference between gender identity and gender presentation.

9. Most queer friendly people assume that asking someone’s pronouns is always a pro. But Airton gives us some example Of when asking someone’s pronouns might not be the best idea (when you’re singling someone out, aka you’re only asking for their pronouns and it’s a signal that they don’t fit it, or when you ask a group to share their pronouns in a setting where someone sharing their no gender conforming pronouns might make them a target or feel unsafe) how can we navigate this?

10. We only discussed chapters 4 - 7 even though there are ten chapters, simply because the last 3 chapters are very much instructional, discussing how you can debunk arguments people make against transgender and genderqueer existence, and advice for genderqueer people. Was there anything from these chapters you wanted to discuss or that resonated with you?

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