As the dawn of the New Year unfolded, my thoughts were occupied by a text I received the previous night. Having recently shared with my neighbor the news of my daughter’s gender transition, she, with my consent, extended this information to her family. The message I received from her husband, however,  left me in contemplation.

In his text, he reflected on our long history as neighbors, expressing a lot of care for my family. He assured me of his readiness to defend us against intentional harm, and conveyed his willingness to use my daughter’s chosen name. He then stated his refusal to use she/her pronouns with my daughter, explaining that it felt disingenuous to him. In a spirit of mutual respect, he hoped we would understand his perspective.

It’s fascinating, isn’t it? I genuinely believe that he intended to reach out in a supportive manner, infusing his message with care. Yet, beneath the surface of this sentiment lies the essence of the message: a refusal to fully acknowledge and validate my child’s needs, and a commitment to using language that might be hurtful to her when he deemed it appropriate.

Is this gaslighting? I don’t think so. I lean towards describing it as doublespeak.

A thought-provoking report from the University of Arizona references William Lutz’s book, “Doublespeak,” defining it as “language that pretends to communicate but really doesn’t.” It is language that distorts reality, making the negative seem positive or the unpleasant appear tolerable. Doublespeak is language that evades responsibility, creating a disconnect between its stated meaning and its true implications.

what do you mean? text on gray surfaceI bring attention to this because recognizing doublespeak, or other language distortions, is crucial. When someone reveals their identity as queer, non-binary, or transgender (or any other brave statement one might need to make), they are in a state of vulnerability, even as they stand in their strength. For another person to gently talk to them about love, respect, and understanding while simultaneously withholding love, respect, and understanding is not authentic support.

In the realm of Orwellian examples, consider “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” In the context of the text I received, it could be translated as “Rejection is Support.” Can one claim to respect a position while simultaneously stating an unwillingness to respect it? It’s certainly thought-provoking!

If you find yourself in a similar situation, choices must be made. Evaluate the significance of this person in your life or your child’s life. Can they be navigated around, or do they wield influence? How can you support yourself or your child when faced with such a message? And, most importantly, who are the individuals in your life offering genuine love, support, and understanding?

In such moments, it’s vital to surround yourself with those who provide authentic, enduring support. If you ever need guidance or support, I’m here for you. Click here to book a complimentary consultation to see if coaching might be right for you. You can also reach me through Nurture Life Coaching. In the meantime, I wish you a life filled with genuine support.  May the love you receive be authentic and enduring – the most potent antidote to doublespeak.

By Published On: January 3, 2024Categories: Gender Transition, Up-Leveling Life

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