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Rachel Hartham Rachel Hartham, Jan 21st 2015, 11:27 Verified Guru

Hi

I’m afraid that there is no easy way to deal with this, but there are ways that you can prepare yourself.  As with any difficult conversation that you need to have it can help to have practiced what you want to say beforehand, and have a standard prepared response.  This might be particularly useful since you are having the conversation in an unfamiliar language. Try it out on your friends until you have something to say that you feel comfortable with.

Ask yourself what you are worried about, what is the worst that can happen?  Remember that most people do not wish to cause offence and will want to use the correct pronoun, and most will be grateful that you have had this conversation with them.   You may get the occasional bad response and if that happens then it is important to seek support at that time and talk it over with friends.  If while you are away you do not have friends to talk to then PACE have message boards where you can get support.

You don’t mention where you are but there might be local trans* organsations that you can speak to- particularly with regard to advice on gender neutral pro nouns, you may also be able to get advice from the ILGA Europe.

Good luck with your year!

PACE

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