How can I correct my family's use of language related to LGBT+ issues without making them uncomfortable?
I recently "came out" as queer, or more specifically somewhat pansexual¹, to two more members of my family.
They were very understanding, or at least tried to be, but it was still really awkward talking to them about LGBT+ issues... I obviously thought about the possibility of mixed reactions. I've done this before and know that some people don't respond well initially.
What I didn't really expect or know how to deal with was the well-meaning, but somewhat tone-deaf response. These two family members are rather open-minded people, I guess you could say they're rather socially/politically liberal.
I guess I got the sense that while they mean well and are trying to be supportive, they're comfortable talking about LGBT+ people, but don't have much experience talking with LGBT+ people.
It was mostly just language things. Like switching back and forth between using a person's dead name and current name, mixing up pronouns, misunderstanding and misapplying some terminology, and stuff like that.
To be absolutely clear, I know that they mean well. They're not trying to offend anyone. They really wanted to understand where I'm coming from and what being queer means for me. They just don't have much experience with communicating with a queer person about LGBT+ issues.
Again my question is, how do I correct some of these language problems without making them uncomfortable talking about these issues?
I love them and I know they still love me, that's why they're talking about this stuff and asking questions. It just gets uncomfortable talking with them about it when a lot of what they say comes out badly... And I know that sooner or later I'm going to be introducing them to a partner, so it would be nice if they didn't inadvertently say something awful, and I'm fairly certain that they'd rather not make those missteps either.
- (For those that are unaware, or confused... I'm a cis-male, meaning that I identify as the sex/gender I was assigned at birth. I'm also pansexual, meaning that I date people without much regard to their sex, gender identity, or lack thereof. I guess you could say that I'm more attracted to a person's personality and I'm not really concerned about their plumbing.)