People keep calling me “Sir” – and “Mate”, and “Chap”. They always have, and I’ve never really had an issue with it before. But I really don’t like it anymore. In fact, I hate it. Please stop!So I’m non-binary, as most of you will know. That means I’m neither male nor female. I identify as transfeminine, which means I’m way closer to the end of the female spectrum than the male one – about 80% female, I’d say.
And yet, to the casual observer, I look like a bloke. I might be wearing androgynous women’s clothes, shoes and even spectacles. My nails may be manicured and my eyebrows waxed and tinted, but I still look like a bloke.
I have a shaved head (receding hair, sadly) and my facial features, despite looking much better after months of laser treatment on my beard (almost all the hair has gone now) have not yet been softened by estrogen.
This time next year, I hope to have been on HRT for a few months. I hope my body and face will finally begin to shape itself to match how I feel inside.
But for now, even though I don’t feel like a bloke, I look like a bloke, and I sound like a bloke. My voice broke many years ago and nothing’s gonna change that. Fortunately, it’s higher than most guys’ voices – but it’s still unmistakably a male voice.
I fully understand that I have a few issues to face when I do start HRT. People may think: why has that bloke with the shaved head got such a feminine face, and hips and boobs? I confess I’m not looking forward to all of that, but I know I’ll deal with it one way or another. Transwomen face far worse.
But, of late, I’ve started to get really annoyed when people call me “Sir”. You get it on the phone when speaking to people all the time. For instance, I renewed my home insurance the other day. I got “Sirred” about ten times.
I know the guy on the phone was only being polite, but I don’t like being called Sir anymore. I feel far more feminine than masculine. It really grates with me.
Same with “Chap”. My mate Tom, referred to elsewhere in this blog has always called me that, and I’ve never had an issue with it. Yet now he knows I’m trans, and he still calls it me, I don’t like that at all. I’ve told him off – nicely – and hope he stops. “Mate” is another one. When out and about, people don’t tend to call you “Sir”, unless you’re at a fancy restaurant – or it’s on the phone. If it’s a pub or shop, you tend to get “Mate”. I don’t mind that as much, but would guys call women “Mate”? Maybe not.
And yet if people refer to me by “he” or “his”, I don’t mind so much. Why not? No idea! Maybe that will change over time.
I don’t know that there’s an answer to it really. I can tell people like Tom not to call me Chap, but people who don’t know me are only being polite or friendly. It’s not like they’re calling me Bell End or Cock Features.
I guess I’ll just have to grin and bear it – and hope that one day I look that androgynous that they’re not sure. And then they won’t call me Sir. Except on the phone.