“It’s like giving someone with a peanut allergy a peanut and saying to them ‘don’t have an allergic reaction to the peanut.’”
Misgendering and the use of wrong pronouns is an issue that many people struggle with daily, but it can be hard to notice unless you know someone going through it. Steph Kyriacou describes his struggles and frustrations with misgendering and touches on several other issues about it in his latest video.
Opening the video, he states that there are no guidelines for any person of any gender on what they should look like. Steph highlights the common narrative of being told “don’t get angry” by saying “you don’t understand how it feels to have somebody completely invalidate who you are and say something really upsetting, and potentially quite triggering.” He adds that if he started misgendering all the cisgender people in his life, they would get upset very quickly.
He also mentions that it’s impossible to not feel angry or upset when misgendering happens. Even if it’s an internalised reaction or a breath to calm down, a reaction happens – but that lashing out is not the answer. Emphasising this, he says that “if someone was to punch you, and told you ‘I’m gonna punch you, but don’t react to the pain’, it’s gonna hurt, and you’re gonna react! It’s what you do after that that matters.”
Misgendering is an issue that is swept under the rug too often, and Steph finishes up the video talking about this. He mentions that it’s one of the main reasons why some transgender people have mental health issues. “It is that deep. And this is why trans kids feel alone, and abandoned, and that’s why they do terrible things to themselves sometimes.”
In the end, all he asks is for is “respect and common decency, because at the end of the day – we’re just living our lives.”
Read about our Video Spotlight on Roly West talking about why pride matters to him. Alternatively, read our Channel Spotlight on Emi Salida and how she’s educating people about asexuality and here experiences in life with it.