This is something I experience on the daily, so I think it’s important to address it. Note that this is my personal opinion, and not the opinion of the trans* community as a whole:
For me, the effort is more important than the outcome.
I know people are confused when they encounter me, and are unsure about my gender. I know they are; to say someone is not confused would be a diservice to the cause and also a blatant lie. I know cis/non-queer people who encounter me do not know how to identify me. I accept this, and, to an extent, I appreciate this confuse.
Honestly, for me, what is most important is people’s intent. To have someone ask me “What are your pronouns?” or to ask me about gender as it relates to me (mind you, asking IN PRIVATE!!!!) is a huge sign of respect to me and my identity. It really is. And I love and appreciate every single individual who asks me about how I wish to be identified.
And, y’know what, for the people who KNOW my identity, pronouns, and name and mess up on occassion: That’s okay. It is. What matters to me THE MOST is that you CORRECT yourself. Having someone call me”she” or “Carly” and then say, “Oh, shit, I’m so sorry! I mean’t Carlin!” or to make a conscious effort very soon to use my proper name and pronouns is incredibly touching to me. You showing the effort, and addressing your mess up in regards to my name and pronouns, means more to me than anythings,
I understand people mess up. I know genderqueer/trans*/queer individuals who mess up pronouns and names. This is an all too real things that happens. I know genderqueer, queer identified individuals who mess up my name; hell, the individual who INTRODUCED me to asexuality and genderqueer-dom sometimes messes up my name.
People I love sometimes mess up my name.
Fellow queer people sometimes mess up my name.
This doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt me to be called the wrong name, because, absolutely, it fucking does. But having you support me, and having you correct your faults, means more to me than anything.
So, please: Make the effort. Do your best. ALWAYS, no matter the circumstance. And if you mess up, correct yourself.
That is all I can ask for.