Don't ask people their pronouns. Just don't.
I know this goes against a lot of people’s perspectives, but don’t go around asking people their pronouns. Up until now I’ve remained more or less dispassionate on this topic, but this directly affected me today and it sucked.
I was interviewing a prospective hire at work and the whole thing went great… Really liked the guy. But as the interview drew to a close, just as several other people had entered the room, he very nicely blurts out one last question…
“Oh hey, Kaydee, what are your preferred pronouns?”
I. Just. About. Fell. Over.
I simultaneously had to process the fact that I had just been read by a total stranger - something I’m completely unaccustomed to - and also that he outed me in front of my new boss, someone with whom I hadn’t yet had a conversion about being trans.
I was mortified, worried, pissed off, and yet totally unable to be mad at him. I’m sure he had read crap on the Internet about ‘normalizing’ asking people for their preferred pronouns and thought he was being a bona fide hero for putting it into practice.
So let me just say this. Don’t. Don’t go asking a total stranger for their preferred pronouns. You don’t know if they’re trans or whatever else, you don’t know that they want to have that conversation and you have no right to spring that on them. Not to mention you have no idea who they are or aren’t out to. So stow it.
I was dressed in a professional black pencil skirt and a pink peplum top and in 3 inch heels. Go with what you freaking see!! If you’re not sure and you don’t want to offend, go with neutral pronouns. Don’t. Fucking. Ask. ESPECIALLY NOT IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE, AND ESPECIALLY NOT IN SOMEONE’S PLACE OF WORK!!
Not only did this person completely destroy my self confidence, but he embarrassed me and potentially caused me problems at my job. So I’m firmly taking a side. Enough of this asking for pronouns shit. It’s not the basket of flowers people would have you believe. It’s potentially awful.