DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’m a college sophomore who recently came out to his parents as a transgender man. Since I don’t live at home, this hasn’t been much of an issue -- but when I went home for the holidays, both of my parents introduced me to their friends as their daughter.
I’m a man and look like one. There’s always visible confusion on these people’s faces. For the most part, I’ve just let it slide, but it makes me incredibly uncomfortable. Should I correct my folks, or simply reintroduce myself later when I’ll be home and meeting more people?
GENTLE READER: Might Miss Manners humbly suggest the obvious: having a talk with your parents to confirm your gender and say that you want to be introduced as such, with a chance for them to ask questions and the hope that they will listen to the answers?
If this is not feasible, or the results prove unfavorable, Miss Manners suggests the possibility that their friends’ confusion could work in your favor. A firm handshake, followed by, “Hello, I’m Hank,” will likely result in their having to question your parents’ erroneous introduction. Whereby the uncomfortable conversation can be transferred to them -- once you are safely back at college.