Question about transgender

Okay, so I have a French class that requires a huge chunk of the class be done in French. This is fine and dandy. What is not so much, is that a transgendered student has decided to sit next to me. Okay, fine. But because of the very nature of the class, there is a lot of discussion. (Un)fortunately, French is not a gender neutral language. So my question to you is: How do I go about this? Because I am going to call you by your biological gender. But at the same time, I feel like I’ll be despised for doing so.

If my name is Matthew, but I want you to call me Rusty or Scooter, will you still call me Matthew just to prove your point? Clearly transgendered people are confused. But I don’t think you’re somehow guilty of a sin by playing along with their charade for the sake of keeping the peace. Do you want to be right, or do you want to be friendly?

Can you switch seats?

I hope you’re not in New York; use the wrong pronoun twice and you’ll be paying for it for a long time:
You could simply apologize and explain that you’re not a citizen of Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Bishop’s article:

Can you get away with just using the preferred name without the gender pronouns? I know, Spanish is the same way!

Oh my, and it’s a hefty fine too…a quarter million per incident.

Well I guess do whatever? I know if I were in that class I’d have a few choice French words to call you if you truly insisted in being hurtful to this individual.

You’re not going to help your cause by being cruel to someone. And moreover you will probably be violating your school’s policy by doing so.

if you are going to sit next to them you may as well be nice and use their preferred name


Ask them…

One could argue that it’s cruel to feed another person’s delusions. I didn’t get the impression that the OP was looking for an excuse to be cruel, but rather that he didn’t want to be coerced into calling a male a female or vice-versa.

Not trying to be mean to anyone but no one has really given me an answer. And the only one that seems like they did seemed very condescending. I’m not talking about whether or not to call them by their preferred name I’m talking about whether or not to use the masculine or feminine form in French French is not a gender neutral language. This is someone who is a biological male who identifies as female someone who calls himself something that they are not does not make them something else. I think people misunderstood my question

And by the way I have heard people say that there is no such thing as biological gender and I would like to point out that I do believe my mother has a biology degree and while it’s not me she is much smarter than I am in that area. In fact I heard that at my university from a girl that identifies as being a female. To me that seems like a bit of irony.

Nouns are masculine or feminine, but when addressing someone, you use “Tu” (informal) or “Vous” (formal). Neither of these are masculine or feminine. And nouns are masculine or feminine based on the noun themselves, not on who you are speaking to.

So if you are not concerned about calling this student by his preferred name, I don’t understand what you are actually asking.

I have 7+ years of French under my belt and what you say is correct. The masculine/feminine aspects of the language are determined by the nouns one is describing and not the person one is speaking to. Perhaps the OP will explain the dilemma a bit more!

It sounds as if the “problem” will arise when the OP is required to speak about his classmate to someone one else or to the class. “Elle” or “il?” It could get awfully awkward trying to avoid this “problem” by constantly repeating the person’s name.

If it was me, I’d simply refer to the person in the manner in which he/she preferred. You really cannot go wrong by being considerate.


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