Who wants to be misgendered?? I certainly don’t, but unfortunately sometimes it happens, sometimes by mistake and other times with malicious intent. For trans people we have to decide whether or not we are going to correct someone or just let it slide off our backs. For cis gendered people it’s recognizing what you did and correcting it as soon as you realize it. Personally I get misgendered all the time, most times on accident or just the person plain out doesn’t know and sometimes out of malicious intent. One of the reasons I am misgendered is due to my voice. I have not started hormones yet so I still currently have a high-pitched feminine voice. Although I wear male clothes, have a male hair cut, and present as a male my voice gives away my birth gender. The hope is that once I start hormones my vocal chords will thicken and other things will happen to help present more as a male.
For trans people we have to decide how we are going to react to it. Are we going to flip our lids every time we get misgendered or are we going to remain calm, correct them, and move on? I prefer to stay calm and correct the person even if they are doing it with malicious intent. I never want to bow down to their level. It’s hard sometimes especially when people continuously misgender you and you have corrected them, but all you can do is continually correct them and eventually they will have it hammered in their brain enough they will respond correctly. For example when I came out at work there is one lady that never missed a beat with my name, but would constantly still use she/her pronouns. On multiple occasions I asked her to please use male pronouns and now she thinks before she speaks and 99 percent of the time gets it correct. Sometimes its simply a learning process especially for people who have known you a long time and have used your previous pronouns.
Malicious intent is a whole different can of worms and shouldn’t be tolerated by trans people. The problem with this is when someone is being malicious with their words will it turn into physical violence and that is something trans people have to be careful with. No one wants to put themselves in harm’s way so do you correct them and take the chance or do you just ignore it and move on. For me if I feel like I can defend myself against the person I will correct them if I don’t than I simply walk away from the situation because my life is more important than one measly person. Do what you believe is best, but remember to protect yourself because not everyone understands or is okay with who we are.
For cis people it’s all about realizing what you did if you misgender some one. Don’t over react and say “Oh my I’m so sorry I really do see you as a man/woman,blah blah blah…” Simply apologize and use the correct gender and move on. Trust me most trans people aren’t going to flip out on you because you misgendered them as long as you acknowledge it and correct yourself. It’s the people who don’t say anything and don’t correct themselves. Remember that we are who we are whether you understand it or not so the first step is gendering us properly no matter how long you may have known the person. I understand it takes time and it may be part of the transition for you too, but you have to realize how important it is to them to be gendered correctly.
Whether your trans or cis being gendered correctly is important. No one wants to be gendered the opposite of what they identify at. The same goes for non-binary people who don’t identify as either gender. So, just be patient and understanding no matter what side you are on because what you say does matter to someone.