Reffering to a male who identifies as transgendered as "she/her" and vice-versa

I work in a university that is quite liberal when it comes to gender identity. By liberal I mean away from the natural understanding of male/female, man/woman and houses students based also on gender identity (a male/female can be roomates with the opposite sex if they identify with that gender). In writing official reports I use the names of the students in the report (including their preferred name). Is it obligatory by the church not to reffer to the person by their preferred name? It’s not something I purposely do, but it is very difficult to avoid gendered pronouns and sometimes i do just go along with the nickname to get my job done properly, are there any writings on this?

This is fairly easy to handle in standard etiquette.

When writing a letter… instead of saying:

“Dear Mr. Jones,”

or

“Dear Ms. Smith,”

Simply use the following form:

“To Annabelle Jones,” and “To Robert Smith,”

This is pretty standard in formal business writing anyway.

Verbal communication is more difficult.

Avoid Mr. and Miss or Ms. altogether and simply refer to them always by their legal name on file. It is never legally discriminatory to use their legal name on file. If Michael wants people to call him Michelle… tough. He can go get his name legally changed. At that point you will have to call him Michelle, but you can still avoid acknowledging his disordered view of his sex by avoiding pronoun use altogether.

It seems unnecessary unkind to deliberately refuse to use the name someone wants to be known by. We know nothing of another person’s individual journey or the trials they have faced in life. In my view, we should be caring and charitable about something like this.

There’s nothing wrong with calling a person by his/her preferred name. It’s really no different than someone who really wants to be called “Rich” instead of “Richard” or someone who only uses his/her first initial and wants to be called by his/her middle name. Sometimes, there will be a need to match the name in the report to the name the university has in its official records. Besides there are so many names that used to apply to one gender but now apply to the other - Taylor or Michelle are examples.

Pronouns are more problematic. I would try very hard not to use gendered pronouns in those cases. If the school is as liberal as they say, they should support gender neutrality in any writing anyway. :wink:

I don’t know of any Church teaching on this topic, but I agree with Isca’s point. I think the same goes for gendered pronouns. What would be the purpose of deliberately referring to someone as a “he” when that person identifies as “she” (or vice versa)? Other than annoying and possibly hurting the individual in question, what could it possibly accomplish?

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: God bless you.

There is no Church teaching that you can’t use the pronouns of the gender that they assert that they are.

If you have a student with the given name José María Rodríguez y García (Jose Maria being the given name with “Rodriguez” and “Garcia” as the surnames) who went by Josema Rodriguez would you complain? (José María is a not uncommon Spanish boys name and Josema is a common abbreviation.)

The recent rewrites of prayers and songs imply that any use of gender specific nouns and pronouns is sinful. :smiley:

I try to follow the rule of calling people what they want to be called.

A disgusting copout. It really is shameful.

However, if one calls them what they wish to be called in a situation such the their preferred designation is directly associated with their grave sin, then failing to resist their attempt at eroding the moral fabric of society is in itself a cause of scandal; and that is sinful.

Consider the general confession at the commencement of the mass: “… I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do.

Failing to resist obvious, public, unrepentant grave sin; is in itself a sin of omission. Failing to resist such sin causes scandal. We are always to avoid scandal.

Consider this: “So thou, O son of man, I have made thee a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore thou shalt hear the word from my mouth, and shalt tell it them from me. When I say to the wicked: O wicked man, thou shalt surely die: if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked man from his way: that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but I will require his blood at thy hand. But if thou tell the wicked man, that he may be converted from his ways, and he be not converted from his way: he shall die in his iniquity: but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezekiel 33:7-9

Is that politically correct? No. But it is how we are to live. Not in fear of causing offense, but in fear of the Lord.

I’m not even suggesting calling such a person out for their disordered lifestyle and attitudes; but simply to avoid complicity in their disorder by tacit verbal validation. It is within the bounds of ordinary etiquette (as I described above) to avoid capitulating to their twisted whims.

  1. Having transitioned societally is not a sin
  2. They are not trying to erode the moral fabric of society

Do you take the same approach to remarried couples, refusing to refer to them as Mr. & Mrs.? If you refer to them as a couple, aren’t you failing “to resist obvious, public, unrepentant grave sin”? How do you avoid complicity in their disorder (repeated and unrepentant adultery)?

:thumbsup:

To me this reads as cruel and judgemental, especially “twisted whims”! :tsktsk:
Respectfully suggest that you consider reading about or ideally talking with someone who has undergone or is struggling through the lengthy process prior to transgender surgery. It is never a decision taken lightly.

Two BIG differences. First, in most cases, you would have no idea of the circumstances of a divorce and subsequent remarriage (was the first marriage valid, is there an annulment, etc). You can give them the benefit of the doubt. But even more importantly, “Mr. and Mrs.” reflect their** legal **reality. In the case of virtually all trans students, they have not legally changed their gender designation. It is not wrong, especially if working in an official capacity, to stick with the legally correct.

Mutilating oneself is immoral.

My Deacon grandfather will be heartbroken to find out the Marine Corps tattoo he got in Vietnam with his brothers in arms has earned him a one way ticket to hell. I say that since I doubt he would ever repent of the willful disfigurement of his skin since that tattoo represents not only those he fought and came home with but those who stayed there having paid the ultimate price.

Do you *really *want to spend eternity with a God this petty? Same with Polycarp - can you imagine eternity with a raving, all-powerful, capricious idiot who would hold you in contempt for calling a person Michelle instead of Michael? Have you *really *considered the implications for you if you are right and God really is that inferior to human beings in morality and temperament?

HRT in addition to masculinizing or feminizing their bodies to that of the gender they assert they are has also been shown to have such an invaluable therapeutic effect for their psychological welfare that it cannot be considered to be mutilation.

I’m not sure what you’re babbling about, but getting a tattoo isn’t the same as cutting off part of one’s body.

Cutting off a healthy body part is mutilation. Psychology does not justify suicide and it does not justify cutting off part of one’s body.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.