While cis woman Izzy Henderson has historically struggled to use they/them pronouns to refer to non-binary people, she seems to have made a major breakthrough as it’s suddenly easy for her to use them while misgendering a trans woman.
“Oh yeah, I went to college with them,” said Izzy in reference to Maddie Thorton, who uses she/her pronouns exclusively.
Izzy has reportedly been reintroduced to Maddie after a friend of Izzy’s started dating her.
“It’s weird because in the past, Izzy has said that using singular they/them pronouns is really hard for her,” says Maddie’s girlfriend, Emma Steinberg. “Now miraculously they slide right off her tongue, but only while she’s misgendering Maddie or other binary trans people.”
While Izzy always apologizes when she’s corrected for using the wrong pronouns, she reports to not really see what the big deal is.
“I mean, isn’t the point of they/them pronouns that they’re sort of neutral?” Izzy says. “Like, you can use ‘them’ when you don’t know someone’s pronouns, so I don’t see how this is that different.”
Sources report this is different because Izzy does know what Maddie’s pronouns are, and also always assumes the pronouns of people she doesn’t know.
“It seems like Izzy thinks this is misgendering-lite and therefore okay,” Emma says. “But it also proves she is, in fact, capable of uttering these pronouns, just only in the wrong context.”
Maddie confirmed the misgendering is frustrating, but that she’s holding her head high.
“It’s like, she’s not flat out calling me a man, but she’s still denying my womanhood,” Maddie says. “This behavior is not that rare from cis people, though, like I need to perform femininity to their standard, but if I’m too feminine then that’s also proof that it’s ‘fake’. It’s impossible logic to keep up with, which is why I don’t.”
“Maybe I’ll just start misgendering Izzy,” Maddie adds. “We’ll see if he feels neutral about it.”