You wouldn't like to be called the wrong pronouns.
Picture this: you’re walking down the street, your name is Bob and you are firm in belief that you are a male. Suddenly, you bump into a coworker with their friend. When you are introduced, their friend says ‘oh this is BARB, the woman you always tell me about and I finally get to meet HER.’
How would you react? How would you feel? What would you be thinking? Why?
It's not like asking to be referred to as an PNG file...
To the conforming binary side of our society, the only options are her she him he for addressing individuals. Their socialisation had this ingrained meaning of gender saturated throughout.
There are even those who try to be clever and cry “THEY IS INCORRECT GRAMMAR”. Fear not, these foul demons are wrong, indeed. For the true news is that ‘they’ as a pronoun for singluar use has been coined since the 1800s. Primarly to referece unknown indivudals. ‘Someone has left their umbrella. They will get wet’.
The earliest known attempt to create gender-neutral pronouns dates back to 1792, when Scottish economist James Anderson advocated for an indeterminate pronoun “ou”
Barron, Dennis. “The Words that Failed: A chronology of early nonbinary pronouns”. Illinois Department of English. University of Illinois
Merriam-Webster even designated the singular “they” as their 2019 Word of the Year and introduced the gender-neutral honorific Mx. to their unabridged dictionary, forever ending the question of what to call someone whose gender is nonbinary (i.e., not male or female).
Gender identity is non-negotiable. It is not a label others put upon you, it is one you choose for yourself.
Some important gender terms
- Gender Fluid
- Gender Nonconforming
- Gender Questioning
- Gender Variant
- Cis person
- Cis Female
- Cis Male
- Cis Man
- Cis Woman
- Cisgender Female
- Cisgender Male
- Cisgender Man
- Cisgender Woman
- Male to Female
- Female to Male
- Transexual Man
- Transexual Person
- Transexual Woman
- Transgender Man
- Transgender Woman
Having your identity disrespected by those around you might start as unpleasant, but over time it can build to become draining and truly damaging. Having to endure disrespect and discrimination regularly can lead to significant health consequences over a person’s lifetime.
When engaging with non binary people, it’s essential to use a person’s chosen pronouns even if this means apologising and correcting yourself when you slip up. Deliberately misusing pronouns is emotionally abusive.