Safety Work, Even from Words

If I’m in a debate, and suddenly I stop to correct the pronouns of a trans person that has been brought up during the conversation, and entirely change my tone, it isn’t to change the topic as a diversion.
It’s to ascertain whether or not, if I met you on the street, you would constitute — directly or indirectly — a physical threat to my safety.
Yes, this was a specific incident. Person has since apologized, genuinely, via a mutual friend. I accept it. I’ve observed in multiple contexts that, though this person might be someone I’d disagree with, they are nothing if not direct and earnest.
That doesn’t necessarily change the fact that, by doubling down repeatedly, on the street, I would interpret those actions as having raised the specter of physical violence. Not them, not directly. But because that then elicits certain kinds of thoughts and reactions in bystanders, depending on their attitudes.
I’m torn between going scarce for a little while and making a point of staying and engaging. Simply: Fight or flight, even in hindsight, writing about it.
My only point in bringing it up is to educate just how loaded a thing misgendering can be. Even if you’re only misgendering someone in the past tense and not someone who is actually part of the direct conversation. My point isn’t to call this person out, they’ve done what they can to mitigate what they did, and I’m done with that conversation. It’s to say that even after the apology there are still consequences when the misgendering is obvious and willful, even when it is directed to a third party outside the conversation. (It doesn’t matter if I was assumed to not be trans, the assumption should not have been made, and that in a way would make it worse, like a conspiratorial aside between people that are supposedly of the “same tribe”.)
The phenomenon isn’t limited to trans folk, there are analogous verbal behaviors depending on what kind of minority you may be having a conversation with. That itself is worth some deep meditation time.
Respect? Yeah, basic physical safety is baseline respect.

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