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This Is No Good

January 24th, 2013


Ashley visited her parents at the beginning of winter. Over her previous visit for Thanksgiving, she had heaps of support from visiting relatives, but this time Ashley had fewer allies — mostly just her brother, who gets her name and pronouns right all the time.

Her parents still use the wrong pronouns, and Ashley thought it might be because they didn’t know how much it hurts her. Wanting to remove any doubt, she braced for confrontation and told them how deeply hurt she feels when someone refers to her with male pronouns. She was shocked when her parents reacted with indifference.

In addition to the pronoun problem, Ashley’s parents have switched to using a childhood nickname for her instead of the name she chose. She was okay with that for a while, but she’s come to realize that her parents still use her birth name when she’s not around.

Ashley wonders whether writing a letter would work better than her attempt to ask them person, although a similar letter last spring didn’t seem to have much effect.

Ashley laments that L’Oreal’s Double Extend Mascara with Beauty Tubes tend to irritate her contact lenses, so she went to look for an alternative. She got a recommendation from her hair stylist for Smashbox’s Full Exposure Mascara, and discovered that it worked well for her without irritating her contacts in the same way that L’Oreal’s mascara did.

Ashley also offers a positive review for Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, which you can spray onto your face after you apply your makeup — but before applying any mascara — to help your makeup last throughout the day. Ashley mentions that Urban Decay’s Makeup Setting Spray makes a difference on those days where her makeup really has to last.

(Ashley’s nail polish in this episode is Aruba Blue from Essie. We aren’t being paid to say this — just thought maybe you’d like to know.)


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  1. Rona #
    January 24, 2013

    Not really sure how to get your parents to change pronoun usage, but as for the name, you mentioned Jenny getting married, and although it took a bit, you eventually got used to it. My suggestion is to point out that you have also legally changed your name (this is where you may have to play dumb a bit) and while you realize that mistakes will be made until you get used to it that it would be nice if you made a effort as you realize that calling you Snooks might not always be appropriate in all situations. You will need to be able to field the comment that it isn’t the same but in the eyes of the law it is so come up with a way to say that in a way you can get the point across.

    After typing this I came up with this as a way to maybe get them to at least use pronouns during your family gatherings. When having a conversation with them about pronouns let them know how embarrassed for them you are when you are in a room full of people who are obviously accepting and are all using your name and pronouns.

    I so enjoy watching your videos I’m really rooting for you and I hope your parents get their epiphany soon.

  2. Wendy #
    January 26, 2013

    Hello Ashley,

    This is the Wendy you think it is. I understand your frustration, just remember my offer to help you write something. It is not an excuse, but your parents are in denial. They think they know how painful this is, but I suspect they are focused on their pain, not yours, not thinking of the fire they are playing with.

    Seriously, I understand how the dark thoughts stick after you feel you should be through them, it is a lot of work to work on new ways of thinking.

    For now you may have to break communication with them directly, to keep them from hurting you anymore. Go through 3rd parties as a buffer. I know this is going to be hard, but you need to be allowed to be happy, you are a terrific beautiful person (both body and soul) whom is very likable. It is unfortunate we can not see ourselves as others see us.

    • January 27, 2013

      Thanks so much for your kind words and encouragement! Although I’m not ruling out cutting off my parents as a last resort, I’m hoping to try other ideas before things get to that point—one of my concerns is that if I cut them off, their views will likely stagnate :(.

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