I am quite insistent on the point that the vocabulary a language has to describe something can affect how people perceive it. Gender variance is one such example, where not having the words for your feelings leaves a sufferer with an unspecified sense of “wrongness,” but no clear road map as to what to do with that information. An observation to help confirm this idea is how gender variance is treated in different languages.
If it seems like English-speakers are dissatisfied, the situation for speakers of gendered languages is worse. In the same survey, transgender French respondent #171 was clear and succinct:
“[S]peaking a gendered language as an agender person fuckin’ sucks. I’m constantly misgendered, or I’m misgendering myself in order to be understood.”
Misgendering in a gendered language was explained by another respondent:
“For example, in English, there are multiple nouns that I can use to classify myself (partner, student) without making reference to gender, whereas in German I’m supposed to say the feminine form of many common categories into which I fit, like student (Studentin), and have to explain myself when I refuse.”
In English, one can say they are a teacher with a partner, and no one’s gender is revealed; French and German lack that luxury.
Transgender German respondent #98 added:
“The options that English presents work reasonably well for me and I can express my gender identity and use preferred pronouns […]. [In] German I struggle a lot with language and [I am] often very unhappy with the situation of [the lack of] German gender-neutral language. I lack usable and easy to learn/apply pronouns and descriptions of myself. That the language is very gendered is a big problem in my life.”
Russian is a gendered language that does feature a neuter third-person pronoun, оно [it]. This pronoun is not typically applied to people — instead it is used only for objects with neuter noun names, typically borrowed words like кафе (cafe) that do not take a masculine or feminine case. A few gender pioneers, however, have co-opted it. For example, Seroe Fioletovoe [Grey Violet] — a transgender Russian activist who is part of the artist collective Война [War], best known for spawning punk activists Pussy Riot — uses “оно” to describe themself.
Read more here.