First, is it ok to start a thread here and ask questions? Or do you prefer we put them somewhere else?
My question: When referring in the past tense to a person who has transitioned at a time before they transitioned - what is the preferred reference?
Example: My brother’s child was named Jack at birth and assigned male. I knew the child as Jack and treated them as male for over 2 decades. Now she goes by Jill, has transitioned and prefers she as a pronoun. Cool.
I have no problem referring to her as Jill.
But my question is, when we are together as a family and talking about stories from her childhood - where she was called Jack and treated as a boy - what is ok?
I realize I can just ask her and that preferences may vary. But I was curious to know what your feelings and preferences were about this.
On one hand, I want to use preferred references for the individual. (Although I’d hope for some grace as they may vary on this topic). Back then, I had a nephew and should that be acknowledged?
On the other hand, is it hurtful to essentially ignore how the person was treated in childhood - act as though she’s always been Jill - when we all know she wasn’t - and that this was probably a source of great pain from the past that ought not be ignored? (I know I don’t like it when hurtful things from my past get glossed over bc I’m supposed to be over it by now.)
On the other other hand, I don’t want to inadvertently bring up something and cause pain or awkwardness in a situation where Jill doesn’t really care or I should know better.
Anyway. I hope my question makes sense and if it should be moved, let me know.