For many people watching last night’s Diane Sawyer special with Bruce Jenner, it seemed that she was misgendering Jenner after telling her that he was now a woman. It may have seemed disrespectful, but here’s why it wasn’t.
Many took to social media to question Sawyer’s use of masculine pronouns, however, at the beginning of the interview, it was made clear that Bruce was still using male pronouns and had asked to be referred to in that way.
A statement released by GLAAD may help people understand what might feel like a minefield when assigning pronouns to those who are trans, transitioning or transitioned.
At this time, Bruce Jenner has not requested that a new name or pronoun be used, therefore we are respecting his wishes and will continue to refer to Jenner by his current name and with male pronouns. Some transgender people prefer to change their name and/or pronoun quickly. Other transgender people may take more time to decide what name and/or pronoun feels right to them. To be respectful, use the name and/or pronoun requested by the individual.
During the 2-hour special, Jenner told Sawyer:
“I am a woman now. I have told a lie all my life, and this is who I am. I cannot hide anymore and I just can’t pull the curtains”. He adds “I still have all my male parts but I identify as female.”
He believes that what he is doing is going to change the world by talking about it all now.