Q&A: “”Wow, I would have never known you use to be a girl!” How would that be offensive?”
I saw the pictures you reposted with the transgender people. The one that said, “Wow, I would have never known you use to be a girl!” How would that be offensive? I feel like that would be an okay thing to say? Sorry if I’m coming off as rude. ?
(the post in question)
saying something like that to a trans person is offensive for several reasons. perhaps some of the biggest reasons are that:
- a trans person never “used to be” anything.
just because doctors and society assumed them to be something else in the past doesn’t mean they were ever anything other than the gender that they are. just as a trans man doesn’t start being a man after transitioning, a trans man doesn’t stop being a girl after transitioning. they were never a girl to begin with.
- it can be dysphoria inducing to have someone say that you “used to be” a gender that you in fact never where.
it’s like someone is misgendering you in the past tense. this is not any more okay than misgendering someone in the present.
- if a trans person is stealth, such a careless comment could out that person.
it is never okay to out someone, whether it’s intentional or not. not only is it rude, you are potentially putting that person in danger or at risk of negative backlash.
- such commentary is essentially saying “wow, you’re so (stereotypically) X i would have never thought you were ever (stereotypically) Y.”
regardless of the specifics of the reason why the person said what they said, it often boils down to them seeing that person as X to the point that their impression of that person is incompatible with their (stereotypical) image of what Y is. “wow, your voice is so deep and you’re so macho, i would have never known you used to be a girl!” as if girls can’t have deep voices and be “macho” etc etc.
- sometimes such commentary is also analogous to “wow, so you’re not a real X, you’re a Y who’s undergone medical stuff to become an X.”
this is cissexist BS that invalidates a trans person’s gender, suggesting that only “biological” (i no longer care for this term) X are “real” X etc.
hope this helps, anon.