Why they/them pronouns are, in fact, grammatically correct
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re trying to figure out the best pronouns for you, trying to educate yourself on the trans community, or reading this just so you can argue against it better. Well, these are three very different things, and I have something to say to each audience.
To people searching for pronouns:
Don’t listen to people who say that you are limited to using she/her or he/him pronouns. They are very wrong! They/them pronouns are correct when used singularly, and so are neopronouns! You can also use as many sets of pronouns as you are comfortable with, and use them interchangeably or use certain pronouns when you feel a certain way about your gender. Your pronoun choices are completely up to you; don’t let anyone else’s hurtful comments (or the expectation you probably feel to make others feel comfortable or make the transition easier for them) dissuade you from using what you feel is right to describe yourself.
If you are still struggling with your choice, remember that it is not final and you can always change it if necessary. Try referring to yourself using various pronouns and masculine, feminine, and gender-neutral descriptive words and see what feels best. If you are comfortable and able to, you can also ask a close friend to do the same for you.
You’ve probably heard about some of these, but you can get pins that have different pronouns on them to let people know what pronouns you’re using that day. If you still need masks when you are reading this, there are also many on Etsy with various pronoun options.
Lastly, remember that you are valid as hell! You are so incredibly brave for thinking about what pronouns work for you, and coming out, if you are considering doing that. Keep in mind that you do not have to be out to be valid, and you can still express your authentic self in other ways if you are unable to directly come out, like with your hairstyle and clothing choices. You’ve got this and I am so proud of you!
To those educating yourselves on the trans community:
Thank you for doing the work and trying to learn how to be better! Trans people need people around them that they can trust to be accepting, and you are on that journey. Here are some things you can do to show that.
- Don’t say that certain pronouns aren’t real or that you can only use one set of pronouns — Neither of these are true, and saying this is a big red flag for many trans people to avoid you.
- Don’t assume someone’s gender because they look a certain way! — This can make us very happy if you happen to choose the right pronouns because it means that we are passing as the gender we identify as. However, if you misgender us, it can be very triggering. As such, it is best to use gender-neutral descriptive words for people generally, because sometimes you may be very unlikely to tell if someone is cisgender or not.
- If someone is being transphobic, defend the trans person! — Our society’s default is cisgender, heterosexual white men. If you aren’t that, you tend to be marginalized and discriminated against. Queer and trans people are a large target for this since many people think that it is just “our lifestyle” or that we’re “faking it for attention.” If you see a trans person being harassed, defend them! Especially since certain people fit into certain identity groups, they hold some kind of authority, even if it is subconscious, which has the power to influence others.
- Listen to trans people if they tell you that you are doing something harmful to their community! — Although it may make you uncomfortable to be called out for doing or saying something harmful, it’s important to listen, learn from it, and do better. This shows us that you really are a true ally.
People like you make trans people feel safer and more comfortable being themselves, and we can’t thank you enough.
To those who just want to read this to argue:
I do not exist to entertain you and as such, will not be taking the time to eloquently write out this section. Presumably, you are transphobic, so if you don’t respect me, I won’t respect you. Using different pronouns and names is Not Hard and finding an excuse to not do so is transphobic because guess what? There isn’t one. Anyway, fuck you.
That was fun. Thank you for reading! I will leave you with a reminder that TRANS PEOPLE ARE VALID!!!