Friday, March 11, 2011


The pronoun.  Feminine, masculine.  It tells us what gender category to put someone in.  Society needs to know if someone is a girl or a boy.  We keep our minds organizing people into little boxes to appease the 'norm' that we've been accustomed to.

don't fuck with my order!

For me, I'm trying not to use any label at all.  I just call my love by name.  But, I feel like some high school kid who's got her first relationship and all they ever do is say the name over and over and over.  It's a bit of a tongue twister, and I'm sure people are starting to notice.

It's really hard.  Let me tell you.

Then there's the times when I slip up.  I go on autopilot and forget to concentrate on what I'm saying.  For a person with brain injury, maintaining this much focus is bound to fail in mere minutes.

However, there are times where I'll use it to my advantage.  If I think someone is even remotely homophobic, it's a pleasant relief to say, 'my husband'.

But, it still feels so damn alien.

I flipped back and forth yesterday in a conversation with the road side assistance.  Said 'my wife' on the phone to call for service, and 'my husband' when the vehicle showed up to give me comfort and get me on the road again.

goddam car ... you really only have battery issues when i'm the one driving.  you jerk!

On that back and forth trip to Seattle, on one of the monotonous highway drives of tree after tree, Papi said to me, "You called me 'she'.  I know you're not ready to say 'he', but just saying when you are, I'd like it if you could."

here it comes ... papi is going to start demanding i use the right pronoun ... i'm not ready to let my 'wife' go just yet.

My love cringes if I call us lesbians.

(for the record, i fucking HATE that word.  dyke sounds so much better, but people get all weirded out by it)

I said the 'L' word the other day to friends when they didn't have room on their schedule for our tattoos.  Tongue in cheek, I played the gay card, "Apparently they're too busy to make appointments for lesbians!" and immediately looked to see if Papi heard.

nope.  phew!

When we were at Ikea getting our kitchen island, the man at the self-serve cash lineup called mi esposo 'sir'.  I almost blurted out a correction.  I stopped myself and went along with it, grinning, almost as if I had the world's best kept secret.

It was kinda fun actually.  It felt like I was playing make-believe.  I smiled like the Cheshire Cat.

There are times when people use the feminine pronoun for Papi and I get squirmish as well though.  I wait patiently for my love to correct them, but Papi never does.

The problem is, if my love speaks, people figure out that it's a female voice.  It truly is the clincher in this deal.

Oh, and for the record, my love has told me that it's not a '5 Foot Vagina'.  It's actually a '5 Foot Clitoris'.  I have been corrected.  Apparently, it only grows about an inch as opposed to the centimeters that most of us gals are born with.

This morning, while reading my blog, I hear from the living room, "I hate it when you call it the 5 Foot Vagina.  It gives me such a gross vision in my head!"

That's right my love.

That's why I'm scared.


  1. Andrea, I cannot imagine the struggle you have with the pronouns. I have never been in that situation myself, but I feel like I at least have some small sense of it from reading your blog. All I can say is: you love who love no matter what pronoun you use, because love is neither male nor female. As long as you say what you say with love, Andrea, and I know you do, then you are saying it the right way even if you use the wrong word.

  2. Pronouns are a PITA. I have a friend who is female, but IDs as queer and intergender. So its hard to know if I should say she or he.

  3. I hate pronouns. ugh. They make me angry.

  4. I can not say I know what you are going through but I can say I understand what you are dealing with.
    Like Borderline said, you love the person you are with no matter what pronoun you use!

  5. My thoughts are with you, Andrea. This is hard enough without you having to struggle with the very language you use daily. I'm sure your Papi is understanding of the struggle and occasional slip! You're a very strong [and unbelievably sweet] person, and I know you can get through this. <3

  6. Here's an idea, forget about dominican and move to Finland - I have a Finnish friend - in their language there is no he or she, everyone is a person. (Forward thinking huh?). I met her when we worked together and she was forever saying stuff like "Where is steve, I havent seen her all say" - Her english is fluent, to the point she has taken her masters degree here, but she still never gets the he/she thing correct.

  7. thank you all of you ... i adore you all ... it's definitely hard ... i just wish we were like DCG said about finland!!!!!

    if it was warm and affordable ... it would be perfect :)

    for now, i keep my pronouns in spanish to keep me on track for that reality at least. xoxo


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