One of the weird ways this has manifested is through people incorrectly guessing how to pronounce my name. My nametag says “Luxander”. (It used to say “Lux” but I didn’t want to keep answering the “what is that short for” question so I fixed it.) Most of the times people mispronounce it, they squint and ask if my name is “Luxandra.” Someone asked if it was “Luxandria” one time. Yesterday, someone asked if it was Lux-on-dra, with the long A.
Okay, so I recognize that there are people with dyslexia and other disorders that result in difficulty reading. However, this happens so often and (if you’ll pardon the phrase) so aggressively that I’m pretty sure it’s not just dyslexic people doing it.
This also happens when I’ve said my name. Specifically, I get my depression meds through a community health clinic. I have to call and leave a message on the nurse’s line if I have any questions or need a change in my meds before my next appointment. Obviously you need to state your name in the message. Every time I can remember getting a call back from them since changing my name, the woman says “Luxandra” and it’s infuriating. (I usually miss answering the phone, so they leave a message and I can’t correct them.)
I think people just can’t reconcile the gender they read me as and the gender they read my name as having. After all, the greek word andros means “man” and that root is often used in English words. Plus, “Alexander” is a pretty common name, similar to my own, and almost exclusively used as a masculine name.
This is weird and I don’t like it.
Has anyone else had people persistently mispronounce their name based on assumptions about their gender? I’m curious to see if others experience this.