You are not being a good friend when you refuse to use gender-neutral pronouns for someone who identifies that way.
The reason does not matter. You are being a bad friend and a shitty person.
You are not being a good friend when you tell your genderqueer friend that gender-neutral pronouns are too difficult to use in conversation.
You are not being a good friend when you claim to be progressive, open-minded, and sex-positive, yet can’t respect your friend’s identity enough to acknowledge that it exists.
You are not being a good friend when you tell your friend this and expect this decision to be respected in return.
You aren’t being a good friend because you are communicating to them: “your identity is difficult for me so I am going to invalidate who you are by refusing to refer to you by the gender that you are.”
You aren’t being a good friend because you are making their identity about you, and about how difficult their life is for you to deal with.
You aren’t being a good friend because you think their identity is up for debate.
You do not get to deliberate about who a person is.
You do not get to make decisions about how you’ll identify a person knowing that it goes against who they are.
You do not get to tell them they are being too defensive about their identity.
You do not get to tell them they are asking too much of their friends by demanding to be identified by the correct gender.
You do not get to end this tirade by guilt-tripping them into still being your friend.
You do not get to say all of this with compassion and feigned empathy and sweet words and expect that to be any different than an ignorant asshole who spits on a person as they walk by.
You do NOT get to use their identity as a spectacle to be debated about with their friends and partners without their consent or knowledge.
We are not spectacles. We are not up for debate. We didn’t choose our pronouns or identity with your comfort in mind.
We don’t expect transitions to be easy for all of our friends, but we expect you to be a goddamn fucking human being and fucking respect our lives because who the fuck are you to deliberate about who I am?
You’re not progressive. You’re a privileged asshole who thinks my identity is optional for you to recognize. It’s not optional.
You get to be a friend to my whole being, or you get to be a stranger.