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My friend, by being afraid to put me into boxes, is creating the boxes herself

Ghost of Rain    

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I am trans, nonbinary, and hard of hearing (which I personally view as a disability). I am okay with other people calling me trans, or nonbinary, or disabled, or hard of hearing. I am those things — they're not boxes, just facts.

My friend tends to skirt around directly calling me anything. She uses euphemisms or waffles between two terms (which sometimes would both be fine on their own, or conversely are completely unrelated to each other?) or just kind of trails off and vaguely gestures so that I have to guess what she's trying to say. She says she's afraid of reducing me down to my labels, but by refusing to state them and making such a big deal about it, that's kind of what she's doing?

She also doesn't do this with anybody else that we know. She's lgbtq+ herself; most of our other friends are also trans or nonbinary, gay, neurodivergent, etc.; and she's okay with all of that. It's only with me that she avoids the point. She has a habit of othering me like that in other ways, as well — when our lgbtq+ friends are talking about their identities she almost always ends up singling me out in a way that implies that my identities are inherently different from theirs.

I've explicitly told her how she can refer to me, and in general I try to be very direct about my identity to avoid making people worry about offending me if they call me the wrong thing, but no amount of "just call me this" seems to get her to change her behaviour. I'm not really sure if I should tell her that it makes me uncomfortable? I want to approach it in a way that will fix it and then let us move on, but so far she hasn't been the kind of person who really ever moves on from things that are pointed out to her, and I don't know if I can handle listening to her bring it up and joke about it over and over and over again.

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Hey there,

I get that it might be difficult to bring up to her and she might have difficulty moving on from it, but really, that's not your issue, that's for her to deal with. The main thing is that your feelings are hurt and they are valid, therefore, it's important to talk about them. What do you think? Even if it doesn't go well, I always say that these kinds of things are better out than in. 


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