How to come out as GNC at work
I am a GNC stand up comedian taking a full time job in a real office on a floor that’s higher than the number 10 in just a couple weeks, and I’ve been low-key terrified of coming out to my office and asking my coworkers to use my preferred pronouns. I found out there isn’t a guide for coming out as GNC at work, I know because I googled ‘How to come out at your office.’ and the only search results were ‘How to come out….ON TOP at your office.’ With this lack of resources, I decided to put together a little piece that I will read aloud to my immediate coworkers and distribute via email or bulletin board in the break room so everyone in my new office can have this information. Feel free to use this as a template and update the language for yourself:
To the great people of ______,
My name is Brittany Meyer and I am a Gender Non-Conforming person, meaning I prefer They/Them pronouns, and to NOT be associated with female or male genders; This should not be hard to remember because according to HR, in this office, I am the only one.…and if there’s just 1 thing I’ve learned in High School, there’s no better way to remember something about someone when they’re the only one — like being the only person of color, or the only one that sells weed, or the only one who sprained their ankle while giving a blow job.
Some things you never forget.
There are a few things about me being GNC that you should know…
- I use They/Them pronouns no matter what I’m wearing — skirts, pants, or a smile…always use They/Them unless I say otherwise.
- Don’t treat me any differently from your other coworkers because I am GNC; invite me to lunch, hang at my desk, give me a raise — I’m up for whatever.
- When we talk, let’s talk about anything but my gender.
- Using They/Them instead of She/Her or He/Him is grammatically correct and currently in the dictionary as a pronoun, stop using that as an excuse.
- If you misgender me and then after a second correct yourself without apologizing, I will remember.
- If you misgender me when I’m not around, I will know.
If you’ve never met a GNC person or used They/Them pronouns before, you can practice on your own — just replace where you would normally put ‘He’ or ‘She’ with ‘They’ or ‘Them’
- Brittany is our new genderqueer art director, they diversify our office and gives us a different perspective on our projects.
- Brittany did a great job on the Scottsdale account, make sure you tell them next time you see them!
- Yes, Brittany was late today, but they look tired and deserve a snack, i’d be glad to be an ally and help them out.
If you need additional practice, you can also try using Gender Neutral pronouns while talking about cats — most of them are genderqueer too.
Let’s get to the big thing…misgendering me.
Calling me ‘She’ or ‘Her’ even though I’m asking you not to….
I want to let you all know that I have a system for when you misgender me, it’s a 3 strikes rules:
1st time, I will politely correct you
2nd time, I will politely correct you…. with a little tone
2nd ½ time, I will correct you and say ‘You know I’m starting to think you’re doing this on purpose, you should really make a better effort to use my preferred pronouns.’
2nd ⅗ time, I will use the wrong pronouns on you, so you can see how it feels.
2nd ⅔ time, I will get you banned from your preferred restroom.
2nd ⅚ time, I will inform you that this act of defiance to not acknowledge my pronouns is cruel, and it’s not difficult if you just put a little effort into it, and then you’ll see how easy it can be.
Finally, on the 3rd time, I will tell Michelle Obama.
In conclusion; Yes, it is easy to misgender me since we are all so used to using cis-gendered pronouns and many people only realized trans people are people about 5 years ago, but it is also easy to try. So with a little effort, you can make this a more inclusive workplace, be a good coworker, and we can all avoid a discrimination lawsuit together.