Here’s a teaching conundrum I have never faced before: I have a student whose gender identity is unclear to me.
My first impression from the student’s online ID picture: woman. My (not immediately conscious) impression from our first classroom encounter: very pretty gay man. My impression after 10 minutes of 1-on-1 conversation in my office: no idea. Maybe a very boyish transgender woman? I really can’t tell. And the student’s name is no help at all.
Clearly, no one’s gender is any of my business, but eventually there may be pronoun issues.
Do I ask? If so, how do I ask?
The best thing about my job: I never know what interesting knot I will need to untie next.
Image by Kevin Tuck