I was talking with someone last night - certainly not a best friend, but one of those people who sort of travels in a "progressive" community that I travel in, too. I've heard some weird things she's said about gender before, but last night was a kicker.
There were 4 of us talking sort of standing together. Imagine standing in a square - each person a vertex. She was one of the vertices adjacent to me (not diagonally opposite). She must have been 3-4 ft away from me. Well, anyhow, we got into side conversations as these things do, and I was talking with the other adjacent vertex to me, not to her. But then I over hear her say:
"Is WTTO a man or a woman?" (actually, my real name was there in place of WTTO)
And then the other person she's talking to, superbly more fabulous than I would have guessed - I should not set my expectations so low because this was fabulous, said "I don't know about you, but I don't know WTTO that well - I think the more relevant question would be 'what pronouns would WTTO prefer we use?'"
So then the response "yeah, well, what ones."
Then back to, "well, I'm not sure. Maybe it would be a good idea to ask directly." Another fabulous response.
Okay, you have to remember, though, this whole conversation took place 3-4 ft away from me. THAT IS SO AWKWARD.
So by then, my eavesdropping has killed my conversation with the other adjacent vertex, so we end up in a 4 person conversation. Except, when I thought it could be no more awkward (really, her asking me my pronouns in front of all those people would have been less awkward than this), she excused herself and said she had to go ask my roommate a question.
And it was clear what she was going to ask.