This year, all Pride Month I got Pride-themed Facebook ads from Lyft that say, “All expressions of gender identity are valid. That’s why we’ve added a range of pronouns to the app #TwoIsTooFew. ” Some of my friends might call this an empty corporate gesture, while others might appreciate it. I have to be honest: it doesn’t do that much for me.
I don’t have a single set of preferred pronouns. As a genderfluid person, I want people to use the pronouns that go with what I’m wearing: “she” if I’m wearing a skirt and makeup, “he” if I’m wearing pants and have visible beard stubble. I also have different first names that go with each gender presentation.
Hey Lyft marketing department: what would be cool for me is the ability to create a profile for each gender presentation: one that says “Andrea” with “she” pronouns and a picture where I’m wearing makeup, and one that says “Angus” with “he” pronouns and a picture with visible stubble. I’d be fine if they were linked to the same passenger score. Really, I just want the drivers and my fellow passengers to treat me in an appropriate way for whatever gender presentation I’m using, no surprises, no questions.
As you can see in the featured image, I was able to change my profile name and picture twice in less than five minutes, so I appreciate that (Facebook will only let me change my name once every sixty days). I set my pronouns to “Prefer not to say.” But how about storing two names and photos? That way it’s clear I’m not trying to fool anyone.
Actually, that’s what I want from the government too. For example, I’d like two NYC ID cards, one for each gender presentation. I know someone with two credit cards, one for each gender. This makes sense for a genderfluid lifestyle, right?
I know a lot of people with genderfluid presentations who would appreciate multiple profiles or cards. For some reason it doesn’t come up when people are offering app upgrades or new city services. And I think that’s because most of the people who claim to represent “the trans community” are binary transitioners, incapable of imagining that anyone else in the community could have different priorities than their own.