Caring about, understanding, and relating to transgender persons

March 7, 2013

“When James becomes Janice:  What not to ask a transgender friend”
This article is from Steven Petrow’s New York Times column on etiquette related to LGBTQ issues. Petrow writes, “As a society we’re generally very underinformed about trans issues and people. I can’t tell you how many well-intentioned people have shared their confusion with me about which pronoun to use and which questions are appropriate.” He goes on to say that we’re at “much the same place we were in the conversation about gays and lesbians a generation ago, when Miss Manners (aka Judith Martin) was asked by an anxious letter writer: ‘What am I supposed to say when introduced to a homosexual couple?'” Petrow provides helpful information for better understanding and communication with and about transgender persons.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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