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Lily Suthida, IT Consultant

I’m the one who calls out. I’m the one who corrects. I’m the one who rephrases. I’ve had plenty of people be like: you can’t tell me what to say. But if you’re allowed to say whatever you want, I’m allowed to react however I want. Right? Maybe my reaction is an attempt to correct you, but you’re allowed to take it or let it go. Maybe what you said seems trivial to you. But the little things are easier to fix. And they help build a foundation. So the bigger things are easier to address. And also: do the big things even matter if you don’t care about the small things? Obviously I can’t fight everything. You do have to pick your fights. And aggression never works. Because you want to win the war, and not just the battle. But one thing I’ll never let slide is pronouns. If someone is purposely using incorrect pronouns, that’s getting corrected, on the spot. It’s baseline respect. It’s like using a mean nickname or something. It’s just not nice, you know? I know you want to use whatever language you want, but maybe it’s not about you. Maybe I’m not trying to take away your freedom. Maybe I’m not trying to make you feel like a bad person. Maybe it’s more about: let’s not hurt the person it’s affecting, you know? I was very, very close to someone who had just started transitioning. And he did everything he could to pass as a man, because he is a man. But he still had some female features. And I was with him when someone misgendered him. I could tell that he was upset, so I followed him to his room. And I watched him just fall apart because of the dysphoria it caused. It’s like— you could have literally taken two seconds to choose the respectful word. But you didn’t. And look at the harm you just caused.


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