My friends know that I am writing about them, but they do not know how I will do so. They do not know if I will be able to capture the nuances of their gender identities, if I will take their words and actions out of context or expose their secrets, shared after whispers of “this can’t go in your study, okay?”
Some people might do things differently, some people might do things the same but think about them differently. I personally think I probably prevented 'burnout' in some cases by helping people understand the complexities of their situation. That could be seen as a good thing to reduce the turnover of people working in Indigenous affairs, but maybe not if you think those people should leave.
Hierarchies persist, which is why factions, such as covens, coalesce in the first place. They emerge from a place of need. A need to counteract isolation, disparate power within disciplines, or the worlds anthropologists inhabit as part of fieldwork, and the worlds that meld and twist as part of the analytical process.
Anthropology has long ago dispensed with the notion that there is any ‘one’ truth. But I think most ethnographers still hope that in describing a group, the people within that group still see at least a reflection of themselves; still understand it as describing something that is legible to them.