I just had an annoying realisation. In my book on Seven Soldiers from 2011, I use phrasing in one chapter which I now realise, but didn’t at the time (though I should have), could be considered offensive to trans people (I refer to a trans male character as having been born female, and misgender his pre-transition identity).
I think it’s fairly clear in the book that this is through cluelessness rather than anything worse, and nobody has ever mentioned having a problem with those lines to me (and I know several trans people have read the essay, or at least told me they had — whether they’d be comfortable pointing out transphobic stuff to me, or whether they’d just assume that I’d take offence as people so often do when you point out their inadvertant bigotry, I don’t know).
I don’t know if this is a bad enough problem that I should pull the book from sale and put out a second edition with those lines changed, or whether a note on the errata page on my website will suffice, given that it’s been out three years and nobody has ever mentioned it’s a problem yet. I do know that it’s a problem that I should at least acknowledge and apologise for.
What do people think?
Either way, I apologise, unreservedly.