The transgender assault is creating lots of challenges, including how we address the issue of what we call someone. In my mind, Bruce Jenner is Bruce, not Caitlyn.
It is not about the change of the name, people change their names enough. It is about the lie that a man is a woman. It simply isn’t so and being “polite” is not the truth.
Jesus says a lot about the truth. Consider “There’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests—look how many scoundrel preachers were approved by your ancestors! Your task is to be true, not popular.“
Here are some thoughts from Michael Booker at The Federalist. His thoughts are very relevant since he has a transgender sibling.
“The demand that I refer to my sibling using a female pronoun is nothing less than thought policing. It is a demand that I assert what I do not believe, or at least a demand that I dare not evidence dissent from a particular pseudo-scientific understanding of human nature. Asking me to be polite is not the same thing as asking me to lie, or worse, to accept a lie as truth.”
- “But the complaints about the profusion of pronouns miss a far more important point of language that seems to have slipped under the radar, something that makes this far more than a matter of courtesy. It has to do with the nature of second-person and third-person pronouns in English.”
- “When I talk to you, I can do so without a gendered pronoun. You is the same no matter who, or what, I’m talking to. I can call my misbehaving car “You old pile of garbage” without making my car a he or a she. Likewise, I can speak to a male, female, or non-binary individual with the same second-person pronoun.”
- “It’s the third-person pronoun in English that conveys gender (and here I’m so happy to be able to use the word gender in its appropriately technical and linguistic sense). I can use he, she, or it as singular pronouns, and each conveys information about the object I’m referring to. There are odd circumstances when I’d use a third-person pronoun in the presence of someone who is in the room with me, but it never feels polite. In the majority of cases, I am taking about a person or thing not present.”