Have you ever been told off for assuming someone's gender?
Sadly, yes. And it's absurd. I support GSM* people fully, being included in it myself. But assumptions are a necessity of life.
Frankly, I don't understand it. Especially from non-binary people, which sounds horrible, but hear me out.
Generalizations suck for those who don't fit - trust me, I get it - but they are important to our daily lives. Assumptions about the world around us make our lives so much easier, and being angry at someone for making one (that statistically is highly supported) is foolish.
Yes, being misgendered sucks, but really you can't expect people to be psychic and know what your gender is without any kind of information. That'd be like if you got mad at me for not knowing your name the first time I met you. Asking someone's gender is a waste of time in most cases - If you're in a community that you know has a lot of GSM members, then sure ask away! It's not a waste of time because you'll usually get a response that's relevant.
In the real world (by real world I mean dealing with complete strangers in public) it is a waste of effort. Not only will most people look at you like you just dropped out of the sky, it'll lead to much bigger conversations about your beliefs in regards to gender, and so on.
By assuming gender, we save so much time and effort. I get that it sucks if you don't conform to the binary, and/or you're transgendered, but you can't expect someone to be able to psychically know things about you. Politely correct them, and move on.
*GSM is Gender and Sexual Minorities - It's like LGBT but it includes everything and doesn't exclude people >_> Yes there's LGBTQIA+ and whatnot, but it's getting longer and longer, GSM will always include it all.
And I believe that this person was very wrong to do so.
She is two grades below me, but my school is very small, so we all know each other quite well.
They present themselves in a very feminine way, and keep the fact that they don't want to be called a certain gender on the down low.
So, of course, not hearing otherwise, I refer to "her" as she.
And you would have thought I just said the most offensive thing one could possibly think of.
They flipped their shit on me! Literally yelling about how you shouldn't assume one's gender and that doing otherwise is offensive to all non-binary people, and basically telling me to go to hell.
And it made me furious!
Please, if you want to be referred to with a certain pronoun, tell people in advance, or politely correct them.
We were raised in a society where we call people, he/she based on the way they look, their names, etc.
Somebody being non-binary or wanting to be called the opposite pronoun is an exception, not the norm.
There is no way to know if you don't say anything, and I don't think yelling at people over it is exactly accomplishing anything.