I am a transwoman about 7 months in my real life phase and not a week goes by that I am not accidentally misgendered by my some of my coworkers. That is, they use the wrong pronouns to refer to me or, rarely, use my dead name.
I have come out at work more than a year ago and since then gradually changing my appearance from masculine to feminine going totally feminine about 7 months ago. My employer has been very supportive in that all of my accounts and personal details on the intranet have been changed to my new name two months before my legal gender and name change. I'm fairly passable, especially when wearing make up to cover up the beard shadow and I always do. Random strangers address me as a Ma'am. That is, until they hear the voice, which is too low and masculine still.
Still, a fair share of coworkers (not the majority) misgender me. When that happens I correct them promptly, usually gently, sometimes with a joke and rarely sternly. Sometimes they correct themselves and apologize, if somewhat half-heartedly.
My problem is that it hurts when I am misgendered but I don't want to leave. I am fairly happy at what I do and secure employment while transitioning is a thing to cherish. I don't want to alienate my coworkers either, after all I need them to do my job properly and conversely they need me. I have not gone so far as to actually tell them that I feel as if someone plunges a knife in me when it happens.
I would of course prefer that they stop misgendering me, but that is slightly unrealistic, that will come only with a lot of time and, eventually in a couple of years, a change of venue. So the question really is how to communicate it to them that it hurts me when they misgender me without alienating them.
- At my coming out at work, I gave a small presentation about the changes I would and will be going through and once my legal gender change got through, I had a small celebration with the traditional biscuits with pink aniseed sweets that is usually done with the birth of a baby girl.
- While I may sometimes get the feeling, there is no observable behavior that some of them are intentionally misgendering me. The feeling is probably just me being oversensitive to the issue. Real intentional misgendering has obviously happened to me but very rarely and is unmistakable.
- My coworkers knew me for 4-5 years before coming out, 5 years tops before both legal and real life start. For those new to term: real life is living 24/7 as the chosen gender and coincides with the start of hormone replacement therapy which after a year or more is followed by the necessary surgeries. I started RL phase 2 months before HRT which is now 7 months ago. Some of them are in the same office as me, some I see every day at lunch, others once a month. I have less of a problem with the latter. Of course it only comes up in a multi-person conversation, which don't occur often (several/week).