I start my new job next week however I had to go in this week to sign some employment paperwork. This was supposed to be a quick visit, just sign the paperwork and leave, but it ended up being considerably more involved. During the visit, I ran into my future supervisor who wanted to introduce me to people around the office. Something odd happened during these introductions that made me a little concerned.
This visit to my new office was not supposed to be anything significant. I had to go in, sign a few papers, and leave. It should have only taken 15-20 minutes. Despite this, I was quite nervous going in. This was going to be my first time at my new job in my typical work attire and was the make-or-break moment for if I could still present as a man. I am not out to my new job and do not plan on coming out to them for a while, so I really wanted this to work.
The “very quick” appointment went off-plan pretty quickly. My soon-to-be boss met me at the front door to lead me to HR. On the walk to HR, he asked me to stay after signing the paperwork so that he could introduce me to my coworkers and other people around the office. I agreed, and after signing all the documents met back up with him. This is when it got weird. He took me around the office introducing me to everyone. The first 2-3 introductions went fine however, after a few introductions, he abruptly started referring to me with she/her pronouns. He would introduce me by saying something to the effect of “this is *deadname*, the new hire. She will be starting next week” or “her first day is next week”. He never corrected himself or even acknowledged that he was doing this; I don’t think he even realized he was doing so. I thought that I misheard him the first time, but he just kept doing it, even in the conversations that ensued from my introduction. I decided against commenting on it to avoid drawing any attention to it. After continuing to use she/her pronouns while introducing me to half a dozen people, he suddenly switched back to using he/him, again without acknowledging any change. The rest of the introductions went by without any additional pronoun switching.
I do not know what I should read into this weird situation with my pronouns, if anything at all. The fact that he only did it for 6 people before switching back almost makes me think it was intentional. My first assumption was that he was trying to get a reaction from me and he stopped after I refused to engage. On the other hand, it is completely possible that it was unintentional and he was unconsciously gendering me as a woman. I was dressed fairly androgynous and I had not gone overboard to hide the effects of HRT. Other than the pronoun confusion, my boss did not let on that he thought I might be a woman. The small talk was all pretty typical for two men and the questions he asked all implied that he thought I was a straight cis man (Wife? Girlfriend? Kids?). I don’t know if I should be concerned about my boss using both he/him and she/her pronouns or if I am just reading too much into an irrelevant coincidence.