Accidentally midgendering casual acquaintance

posted 2 months ago in LGBTQ
Post # 31
334 posts
Helper bee

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bubbly2018 :  Agree with some of the others that you’re way overthinking this. OP, don’t go back and apologize, it’ll be awkward. 

I really can’t believe anyone would be offended by being called “bud”, it’s completely gender neutral… seriously does everything offend everyone these days?? And thinking it’s condescening to call someone other than a close friend a “nickname”?

I can’t imagine getting so worked up about somethign so silly, I’d imagine most of the time people are just trying to be friendly when addressing people like this, apparently some people here just think people are always trying to be assholes..


Post # 32
1038 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

gee if someone physically recoils at being called bud I can’t imagine what they feel when they are actually called something horrible which in retail would happen every day. I would rather be called bud than stupid and have people abuse me everyday. I really think that you are overthinking this OP and if you think about all the bad stuff that happen to people in a week this wouldn’t make the top 100 for most. 

Post # 33
1533 posts
Bumble bee

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MissMarple :  What’s inappropriate about it? If it’s not said in a patronising or sarcastic way what’s the issue? They’re terms of endearment and are said to everyone here, young, old, male, female. 

Post # 34
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Why do we think it is so insulting to be mistaken for the other gender? It’s happened to me, I did it to someone else once based on voice on phone. 

Post # 35
6804 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

A lot of the responses here indicate posters’ lack of awareness of gender identity issues or struggles. They’re dismissive and reek of privilege.

If you say or do something that harms or negatively impacts someone (and you notice it and you care) it’s generally good to acknowledge it, even if you aren’t quite sure what the impact was. Ignoring it and moving on is not thoughtful, considerate, connective or caring.

Even if YOU (fellow posters) are fine with being called pet names by strangers (I generally am and sometimes, I’m not- it often depends on the person doing it), many people are not.

Gender identity issues (and respect around them) is a developing area of awareness for many people. Being casually dismissive of missteps is the same as men casually dismissing women when they raise concerns about sexism and creepy coercive rape culture behaviors. It’s the same as white people rushing to tell Black and Brown people “you were just being oversensitive.” when they say or do offensive things and it’s the same as a bunch of straight women assuring a woman who has just realized she’s gay the day before her wedding that she’s just having cold feet and probably not actually gay. When someone’s gender identity has been a struggle for their entire life, it actually is often a big deal to be misgendered in public.

It’s not being hypersensitive to say “Hey, it seemed like something I said in our last exchange made you uncomfortable and I just wanted to say that it wasn’t my intention and if there’s a way to avoid that in the future, I’m game to respect that with you.” If you don’t want to hold up the line, or draw attention to the exchange, maybe write a note and give it to them.

MissMarple’s response was excellent. We are learning to live in the world with people who are different from us. Ignoring missteps and mistakes doesn’t magically make them go away and it doesn’t help anyone learn or grow or feel like who they are is seen and respected. In fact- ignoring harm we do to others is a behavior that is intimately intertwined with oppressor culture and people having to ignore how many of our privileges are tied to (and rooted in) dehumanizing others.

Post # 36
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2020

My friend who identifies as non-binary uses “bud” because it is gender neutral. Perhaps this person just doesn’t like to be called pet names by strangers? I don’t think your husband misgendered this person. It wouldn’t hurt to issue a quick apology for making the person uncomfortable. 

Post # 37
1413 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

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sunburn :  EVERYTHING you said is exaclty what I was going to type. THANK YOU. Very well said and TRUE!!!!

Post # 38
2449 posts
Buzzing bee

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ariesscientist :  It’s uncomfortably personal to me at the very least. If I don’t know you well, I’m not comfortable with you calling me pet names. I live in the US, and I get that in other countries this may be more a part of culture, but I don’t feel that it’s a part of US culture anymore. At least in the Northeast, which is where I am. I’d guess that in the South it’s more common. Also, I think it depends on the environment/situation. 

In my experience, the way that pet names are used can commonly be interpreted as a form of benevolent sexism. I’d say it’s most common to see younger women being called “sweetie,” “dear,” “darling,” “honey,” and “hun” compared to anyone else. Personally, I don’t hear “bud” or “buddy” often at all, and IME men are generally either not called any pet names or are called sir. It’s a difference in level of respect in that way, especially if it happens in the workplace, which it certainly can.

My context for the term “buddy” is generally in either a close friendship, a parent-child relationship, or a pet owner and pet relationship. All of those are close relationships. So in putting myself in the cashier’s shoes, I would not want to be called buddy while at work and making small talk with customers as part of my job.

So yeah, I’m on team no pet names if you’re not familiar enough with someone, because of how I have seen this play out in my life and in the lives of other people I know. I also think it’s the proper thing to do to be respectful of people’s boundaries and not assume familiarity with someone you literally just met or don’t know very well.

Now does that mean I’m going to rant at an old lady who calls me dear? Absolutely not. But I do wish that since this is not an ingrained part of US culture IME, people would take more thought into how to respectfully address others in all situations, if that makes sense.

Post # 39
5004 posts
Bee Keeper

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anonbee123123 :  “seriously does everything offend everyone these days??”


Post # 40
1174 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Turkey

As a woman I wouldn’t be offended if someone said Thanks bud. It’s more like a friendly thing than anything else in my mind, not very gender related.

Man, I’m so glad my first and main language is gender neutral by default. We haven’t got a he/she/it, hers/his/it’s etc. But just one for each category. 

Post # 41
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

I agree with people who are saying don’t make a huge deal out of it. My daughter has super short hair and wears baggy gender neutral clothing, and people mistake her for a boy all the time.  She is a girl and identifies as such, but it doesn’t bother her.  She knows that people can make mistakes and that her short hair can cause the misunderstandings.  Hell, I am pretty girly and have long hair, and have been called sir before, I think because I’m almost 6 foot tall.  NBD

Post # 44
443 posts
Helper bee

lulubelle2017 :  same.

Where I live (TN)… bud isn’t really a masculine term. I have had people call me bud, buddy, whatever and I am a female. I even say dude(s) when talking to my gfs. Or we say, “I don’t know, man.” 

So I wouldn’t worry about it. If her feelings were hurt, this may be a personal issue she needs to address. Especially when you visit the store and see her often. Obviously the area you are in isn’t anti LGBT and you are respectful all the time. Surely she sees that?

And apologizing might make it worse honestly. Atleast for me it would. It would be a reminder that it is obvious that I am not yet full “pulling it off” and people notice. Just move on and do better I say. And I hate to say it that way but thats how I would feel personally. I wouldn’t want people to know me as a TRANSwoman… just a woman. 


Post # 45
37 posts
  • Wedding: August 2020

This whole thing is incredibly inflamed. People’s gender is none of anyone’s business esp customers at your job. Bud is a general term of endearment nothing to do with labelling. I don’t see any need to apologize because there was no mislabeling here intentional or otherwise. Move on. I don’t see why people are in the habit of getting involved in people’s personal business.  I don’t need to know your pronouns because it’s not my business tell me your name and we will leave it at that. How are people expected to remember individual pronouns for everyone they meet ? Your pronouns are for your personal relationships. This hypersensitivity is not practical. 

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