By YAB Intern, Hyacinth
As society normalizes experimenting with pronouns and discussing gender in general, we find more individuals being able to finally be comfortable with how they are presenting themselves to the world. As some become more familiar with neopronouns and/or using multiple pronouns, others still struggle to understand what they are and how to use them. While many people are comfortable educating others about their pronouns, it can still sometimes feel hard to ask about them. In this blog we will be going over what neopronouns are and how to use them.
What are neopronouns?
Neopronouns are any pronouns that are not used in the gender binary, those being she/her and he/him pronouns. The most common neopronoun is they/them. Some other less common examples include xe/xem, vi/ver, ze/zir, etc. Neopronouns are mainly used for those that identify outside of the gender binary, however your pronouns do not identify your gender identity. For example, some trans people use “he/him/his” but do not identify as male, or “she/her/her,” but do not identify as female.
How do you use neopronouns?
Here’s a couple examples of neopronouns and how to use them:
They are really cool. I like them a lot.
Xe went to the store. I met xem at the mall earlier today.
Vi has a new jacket. I saw ver at the park yesterday.
What does it mean when someone uses multiple pronouns?
People sometimes feel that one set of pronouns does not really fit them, so they may use multiple such as she/they and he/they pronouns, but there are many more combinations. While she and he are mainly used to define those within the gender binary, it does not mean that they do identify within the binary. When someone goes by multiple pronouns it does not give people permission to only use one or the other, it is the combination of both/all.
How do I use multiple pronouns?
Here’s a couple examples of using multiple pronouns in sentences:
She is really good at math. I should ask them about tutoring.
He is very nice. I really want to be friends with them.
They have cool hair. I should ask xem what brand they used for xer hair color.
If anyone has any pronouns you are unfamiliar with, it never hurts to ask. It’d be less harmful to just ask how to use their pronouns and they are most likely super happy to teach others about how to use them. We are all learning more and more ways to express ourselves and identify and there’s always going to be a learning curve. If you are questioning your pronouns, you can ask your friends or people you trust to test these pronouns out to see how you feel. Not everyone knows exactly how they feel or identify the first time, so if it takes some experimenting, go for it! The person that knows you the best, is yourself.