Local Grandfather Respects Grandchildren's Pronouns, Continues to Call Matt Matthew
GALESBURG, IL - Earl Martin, 81, father of 3, grandfather of 8, fully acknowledges, respects, and uses his grandchild Casey’s preferred pronouns (xe/xem/xyr) since xe came out as gender nonconforming late last year. “They say you can’t teach an old hound new tricks,” said Earl, “but I’m over 500 in dog years, and I can still figure out how to call people what they want to be called."
Casey, 17, is proud of xyr grandfather. “I’ve been active on some nonbinary message boards for a while now, and it seems like everyone online has a horror story about old, curmudgeonly grandparents refusing to call them what they want to be called,” xe said, “so I was prepared for the worst. But Pop-pop turned out to be tolerant beyond my expectations!”
Casey’s younger brother Matt (he/him/his) disagrees. “Yeah,” he said, “it’s cool that Gramps, like, uses xyr preferred pronouns and all, but I’ve been going by Matt since I learned to speak and he still only calls me Matthew!”
Matt adds, “Like, what the fuck?”
Earl chides, “No grandson of mine will give up his Christian name.”
Doris, Casey and Matt’s grandmother, echoes Matt’s confusion. “I just don’t get it. Earl and I have 8 grandchildren, and Matt is the only one whose name he can’t figure out. He knows to call Henry ‘Hank,’ Margaret ‘Daisy,’ and he even got Tobias’ nickname right when he wanted us to call him ‘Johnny Monster Truck.’ But ‘Matthew’ to ‘Matt’? No way, Jose. No, not you, Joshua.”
“My dad’s always a surprise,” said Toby Martin, Casey and Matt’s father. “81 years old and he’s still marching in pride parades. We’ve tried to get him to stop, because of his health, you know, but he always tells us, ‘If I don’t defend the differently-gendered, who will?’ Certainly not any of those other folks at the parade, Dad.”
“Oh yeah, and he does have that weird thing about Matt.”
As of press time, Matt was seen furiously Googling “cis white males oppressed???” on his iPhone.