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    Self-misgendering among multilingual transgender speakers

    Simpson, L. and Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2019) Self-misgendering among multilingual transgender speakers. International Journal of the Sociology of Language (256), pp. 103-128. ISSN 0165-2516.

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    “Misgendering” is a term used broadly to mean referring to someone using the wrong gender. In the transgender context, it usually refers to cases where a transgender person is referred to using the gender assigned at birth, rather than according to gender presentation. Misgendering is sometimes a form of anti-trans aggression, but can also be accidental or otherwise unintended. “Self-misgendering”, where transgender speakers unintentionally misgender themselves, is apparently previously unstudied, seems mainly to occur in a foreign-language context, and may bear some similarity to language-interference effects observed in the study of multilinguals, a “first-gender effect” analogous to first-language effects. One may also hypothesize social gender bias, variable gender-identity, or similar factors. This paper quantitatively surveys self-reported self-misgendering among multilingual transgender speakers to identify factors of correlation or causation. Using data and respondents’ comments from an online survey, it shows strong correlation between self-misgendering by full-time transgender speakers and (lack of) fluency in the language spoken, with no significant correlation to other linguistic or social gender-related factors.  This suggests the self-misgendering phenomenon is primarily a fluency effect, independent of social or identity factors such as attitude to gender in language, attitude to being misgendered, or “default” masculine gender.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Jean-Marc Dewaele
    Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2017 07:31
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:41


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