DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there a polite way to ask a person which gender he or she identifies with?
With the relaxation of the bias against the LGBT community, people are more open to be who they really are, and that can be confusing. One acquaintance was raised as a girl, but identifies as male. Another is miffed when confused for a male even though she purposefully looks like a teenage boy. Any way to minimize the social awkwardness?
GENTLE READER: Are you expecting Miss Manners to come up with a way of quizzing new acquaintances about their gender that would NOT be socially awkward?
Are you aware that many people are offended at being asked their occupations, or where they are from, or where they went to school?
Additionally, there is a range of gender categories, not just male and female, and a vocabulary that has been proposed to go with each, but has not been universally recognized. So guessing is, if anything, worse than asking.
Fortunately, the only pronoun you need when dealing with someone face to face is "you."