Ask an expert

22 Jul 2005

Addressing a Person
I know someone who is begining this process.
What I am unsure about is how to address the person. I don't know whether one uses her or him. She was female and is in the process of becoming male? I don't want to offend.
Answer 379 views
Transgender advisor
sex change guest expert

01 Jan 0001


It is very kind of you to say you don't want to offend your friend.
There is a few "basic" guidelines, although every individual feels different about this. Usually when people start telling their friends, family or whoever they choose to tell, then your automatic response should be, to make a consious effort to start adressing him (in this case) in the new / desired gender. Use in other words the pronouns he, him. Specially when your friend already changed his name. You can, by not trying, really cause an akward situation if for example you call "Andre" / "Peter" or whoever she.
Your friend already had so much courage to decide to go through with this, regardless of, how "far" your friend want to transition (change). Usually transgender people experience it negatively if you keep on using the wrong pronouns. They can easily interprate it as your unwillingness to aknowledge them as a whole person / individual.
As it is, they usually despise their biological gender. By showing some support in this matter, you also boost confidence of your friend, as he will accept your efforts. If you know him well enough, ask him (not in front of other people!) what he preferes, as some people come "out" in stages, and you don't want to be the one, who out him, at a space where he is not ready yet.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
33% - 9362 votes
67% - 19312 votes