Credit: Screen grab
Trans Activist Melts Down Over Dog’s Gender ‘Privilege’: Nobody Ever Calls Me a Good Girl

Trans Activist Melts Down Over Dog’s Gender ‘Privilege’: Nobody Ever Calls Me a Good Girl

“Misgendering is an act of violence.”

A transgender activist bemoaned in an essay published Wednesday that people seem to respect her dog’s gender identity more than hers.

Ugla Stefanía Jónsdóttir, aka Owl, wrote in a column for Metro UK that her cisgender Italian greyhound and whippet mix is often mistaken for female by strangers. However, once people realize their mistake, she said, they quickly apologize and change their ways.

“I can’t recall ever seeing a person more remorseful than when they accidentally misgendered my dog. Once they are corrected, there is never a single slip up that happens after that,” she said.

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By contrast, Owl recounted, when she was transitioning, she often struggled to get people to use her preferred pronouns.

“When I corrected people and asked them to use another pronoun, it was as if I was asking them to perform the most difficult feat you could ever imagine,” she said. “The more abusive ones would go on a tangent about how it’s just a ‘biological reality’ and how people shouldn’t cater to my ‘delusions.'”

Owl, an Icelandic LGBT influencer who is married to a transgender man, said that the mistakes have largely stopped now that she appears more feminine, which she deemed proof that gender is a matter of perception. But she has not forgotten how hurtful it is to be misgendered.

“While most people have the privilege of not worrying about pronouns at all, it can be something that causes a lot of anxiety and hurt for trans people, in particular for those who are visibly trans or gender non-conforming,” she said. “As Laverne Cox famously said: ‘Misgendering is an act of violence.”

Owl continued: “Even though it might not seem like a big deal to you, using the right pronouns indicates a level of respect. And who doesn’t want to be respected?”

Transgender activists have made a major issue of being called by their preferred pronouns, rapidly turning the demand into a right. Misgendering is now widely considered taboo, and can incur punishment in certain contexts. Twitter last year made the practice grounds for banning, and in the United Kingdom, offenders have faced legal action.

Many liberals have hailed the shifting norms and laws around transgenderism as progress. But critics have worried that biological sex is being denied in ways that threaten social institutions and put women and children at risk.

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Cover image: Ugla Stefanía Jónsdóttir’s dog. (Screen grab)

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