I’m very open about the fact that I identify as a non-binary person. I don’t see myself as female, but I don’t want to transition to the other end of the gender spectrum either. Despite this, people still call me “she” because they’re not familiar with gender-neutral pronouns such as they. Most of them consider it strange or grammatically incorrect to refer to a single person with a plural pronoun, but it’s not as “strange” or “new” as one might think! Famous writers like Jane Austen and Shakespeare used this pronoun quite often. Here’s an example from Austen’s novel, Emma:
“Who is in love with her? Who makes you their confidant?”
But how do you figure out which pronoun to use? The answer is simple: ask! Non-binary people appreciate this. And don’t worry too much about slipping up! Apologise and correct yourself. We all make mistakes.
Not every non-binary person likes singular they, and there are many other gender-neutral pronouns. Here’s a little chart to show you how to use them:
And remember: Stay queer, never fear!