silly nobinary folks! accurate pronouns are for binary people!

there’s this thing that sucks really hard: binary folks basically telling nonbinary folks that asking for respect (asking for our nongendered pronouns) is asking too much.  it needs to stop, cats.  please.

we don’t need binary folks to tell us how fucking hard it is to get other people to respect our nongendered pronouns.  we already know that.  we LIVE that.  so when well-meaning binary folks come along and tell us (kindly, in my experience) that the thing we’re asking for is going to make work for other people—don’t.  we already know.

i’m not saying you should be all like, “yeah!  i bet if you just tell everyone, people will automatically start applying your nongendered pronouns to you without any fuckups!  yeah!”  cuz, you know, that’d come off as kinda sarcastic.

but you could be all like, “yeah, i’ll do my best.  please correct me when i slip up and i promise to be graceful about it.  do you want me to help you teach other people your pronouns?”  something like that.  cuz honest support would be rad.  thanks, cats.

for a small sampling of receipts, check out the comment section of gender-neutral pronouns presenting a problem [TRIGGER WARNING: binarist asshattery].

11 responses to “silly nobinary folks! accurate pronouns are for binary people!

  1. yallsmoketoenjoyit

    My thoughts exactly

  2. I participated in a webinar earlier this week that was hosted by a self-identified genderqueer person, and they explained that they are daily faced with various microaggressions related to gender identity. They explained some but the ones which stuck out for me were folks using terms such as “ladies and gentlemen”, “brothers and sisters”, etc. I had only just recently used “sisters and brothers” myself, publicly, so…ouch. What would you suggest in place of this, or in addition? Something that conveys affection, a sibling or familial term, that does not denote gender? I did some Google searching and couldn’t find anything, but figured you would be one of the best sources. =) Many thanks. /Karen

  3. hmmmm… well, i guess it depends on the context. like, if you’re talking about siblings in general, i would just use the word “siblings.” if you’re talking about your own siblings, go ahead and say “brothers and sisters” if you don’t happen to have any nonbinary siblings. i also say “litter mates,” sometimes, but that’s just me cuz i’m silly. <3

    as for "ladies and gentlemen," i say "people," "folks," and "ladies, gentlemen, and nonbinary folks." except i don't like the word "lady/ladies" cuz almost the only time i hear it is when some stranger is telling me not to do something cuz it isn't "ladylike." still, i think "ladies, gentlemen, and nonbinary folks" works.

    recently, my nephew realized that there are no gender-inclusive equivalents of "aunt" and "uncle;" he ended up going from calling me "auntie _____" to calling me "_____-buzz." i don't know why he went with "buzz," but it was just lovely that he decided to stop misgendering me (he's 4). <3333 love that kid.

  4. Thanks for this. Yeah, i’m mostly looking for something to use in place of “brothers and sisters” that is nonbinary (similar to the word “cousin”), not necessarily to apply to actual siblings, but to refer to people who are important/significant in a close way (the way some religious folk call each other brother/sister even though they are not related, etc).

    Your little nephew sounds amazing. I think for the most part the current and coming generation are going to get all this stuff right and will hardly be able to believe a time when folks did not accept or understand those in the gay and trans* communities.

  5. ah! gotcha. as in, “i love all my trans* siblings in my school’s qsa; they rock hard!” yeah, i usually go with “siblings.” people know what it means and (i think) it conveys pride/love.

    my nephew is RAD!!!! i could probably go on about him for eternity, but i’ll just say that he is more awesome than space ninja dinosaurs who bake delicious cupcakes while fighting racism, cissexism, heterosexism, misogyny, sizeism, and ableism while wearing cool hats. so, pretty awesome kid.

    i bet the kids of the future will be like, “wha—? folks used to get all bent outta shape about trans* folks? and fat people? and poc? really?!” and they’ll think us old farts are just lying about how weird society used to be. i hope.

  6. That thread got on my nerves so bad though….on Matt Kailey’s blog.

  7. me, too. there are some seriously binarist cats over there; i’m gonna add a tw just in case. fucking hbsers, right?

  8. “Ladies and Gentlemen” is the hard one to get around for me. Mostly because when addressing large companies, and I usually like to do it a little formally (because it makes everyone feel special). That and substitute for “Mr. and Ms.” I find difficult.
    For the first one, I usually do something like “_____ Company”. And I’ll just use last names without titles. But neither of those feel quite as special. I wish there was a slightly more formal substitute that made everyone feel special….any ideas?

  9. maybe you could just tell them that you’re glad/honored/happy/proud to be there? and “mx.” is the non-gendered version of “ms./mr.” so, yay! nobody knows what it means, but they will if we spread it around. does that work?

  10. I’m all about the spreading around. Anyone who has ever gotten an e-mail from me (which is a lot of people, since I send out schedules and meeting notes for a living) see gender neutral pronouns on a regular basis.
    How do I pronounce Mx. out loud?

  11. like “mix.” as in “cookie mix.” huzzah!

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