Oct. 28 2022, Updated 2:09 p.m. ET
When it comes to people within the transgender community, parents of trans kids can be a mixed bag. One of the best-case scenarios is when a parent is open to learning and watching their language when dealing with loved ones who are trans. Coming from an older generation who didn’t necessarily have the tools or the language to discuss trans issues in their time, it’s reasonable to suspect that they might have a learning curve ahead of them.
For some parents, this comes easy. At the very least, they make an active effort to learn how to treat trans folks with respect. But sometimes, you need a little extra elbow grease. Or in this case, some water.
A person took it upon themselves to enforce a parent’s harmful misgendering by spraying them with water, much like you’d do with a bad pet or Dwight Schrute with a concussion.
The whole incident unfolds on TikTok.
On Oct. 27, TikToker user Gabrielle Coburn (@uhhgab) posted a video depicting a civil argument between parent and child. Reportedly, their mother was consistently misgendering the romantic partners of Gabrielle and their sibling in an otherwise innocuous conversation.
Gabrielle’s sibling apparently had had enough and armed themself with a spray bottle full of water. Reportedly, the sibling sprayed their mother every time she misgendered their partners.
“Don’t spray me,” the mother responds. “It makes me feel [small].”
The sibling very decisively says that they “don’t care” about their mother’s hurt feelings when their partner is being disrespected.
“That’s how they feel when you misgender them,” the sibling argues. “So now you know the feeling. Just get it right and you won’t have to get sprayed.”
For what it’s worth, the mother — ironically wearing an LGBTQ pride shirt — reflects on her actions and seems to acknowledge the error of her ways.
The video has garnered 3.8 million views as of this writing. Many in the comments have praised the sibling’s methods for teaching a lesson on misgendering someone.
“Wish the kids could walk around with spray bottles and have the same conversation with teachers, leaders, [their] communities, anyone,” one person commented.
Another person wrote, “I also love the realization in the mom. She’s like, ‘Yup … you right.'”
My siblings instituted a spray bottle policy on our parents for misgendering people. #positivepunishment #spraybottle #gentleparenting #fyp
Gabrielle posted a few follow-ups to the original video, stating that the family is still close, though the spray bottle is still sometimes necessary.
“I promise [everyone] she’s OK,” Gabrielle states in a TikTok. “[This is] a family that enjoys ripping each other and allows the children in the household to speak their minds.”
Gabrielle goes on to say that their mother still loves them, even if she herself still has a lot of learning to do.
“She’s still not getting our partners’ pronouns right all the time,” Gabrielle continues. “Hence the squirt bottle. We’re working on it!”
It would appear that families have all sorts of ways to address gender issues.
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Oct. 28 2022, Updated 2:09 p.m. ET