Hello, my name is David Beattie. I’m currently transitioning from male to female. I still identify as male and I’m still using my birth name. That’s all you need to know about me and my transition. When things change I’ll let everyone know.
In case you haven’t heard, transgender people have been in the media more and more lately, and I am a transgender person. My work includes writing, making videos and doing media appearances to talk about myself.
Recently, a journalist friend of mine was writing an article about gender issues. I have thoughts about gender issues. I have written about these topics before and appeared on the TV and radio to talk about them. So naturally, my friend thought it would be wise to get my input when it came to this article and I agreed.
As she was my friend, I asked her did she want me to just text her a few lines that she could place into her article. If we’re going to be all technical here, it’s not very professional to do this. She refused, but only because her editor insisted that she record all interviews for this particular article. I believe that he thought this was a “sensitive topic.”
And I suppose it could be considered a sensitive topic. My friend would tell you that the editor had the best of intentions. And I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. I’m sure he didn’t want to offend anyone or mess up the approach taken by this article.
But all I hear when someone says something like this is that transgender people are unreasonable. You have to tiptoe around transgender people, because who knows what might set them off? You have to avoid offending these fragile creatures as best as you can.
Do you know how exhausting it is to be tiptoed around like this? In what other situation would an editor insist that precautions like this be taken when someone’s simply giving an expert opinion?
After I appeared on the Late Late show, one of my lecturers emailed me to ask whether I needed anything from him. It was a nice gesture, but I responded by telling him that I didn’t. Which is the truth. I have a wonderful support network around me that doesn’t necessarily need to include the staff from my college.
He seemed surprised, but accepted my answer. But, a few days later, the same lecturer took me aside to ask me “what should I refer to you as?”
This may seem like a trivial question and you may think I’m being harsh for getting annoyed about this, but this is a question that I constantly have to answer.
And I don’t mind answering this question when it’s phrased in the right way. If you were to ask me why I still use male pronouns, I would happily inform you. Curiosity has never bothered me. But when people ask a question like that for no reason, I can’t help but get irritated.
My friends refer to me as David in front of him. I’ve been signing my emails to him as David. I spoke on the fucking Late Late Show (the reason he emailed me) about why I’m still named David. Did he really think I was going to turn around and give out to him for calling me David?
It’s my responsibility to inform faculty when I wish to change my name and pronouns. I don’t expect them to be mind readers or to be able to predict the future. I resent being treated like I do. Have a bit of faith.
I’m aware of how harsh I’m being. I can vouch for this lecturer’s character. He seems like a perfectly nice man and I don’t mean to badmouth him. But I’m just trying to make the point that treating me like I’m unreasonable is only going to piss me off.
You don’t have to tiptoe around me. You don’t have to act like I’m trying to catch you out for the way that you refer to me. You don’t have to be so scared. I’m transgender, not unreasonable.
Here’s a video about why I’m still using male pronouns:
Read my interview with a 20 year old crossdresser here.