For a little over a year I’ve used the pronouns They/She/He.
K introduces themself with They/She/He pronouns for their podcast Questions Answered.
I recently dropped the He/She and now exclusively use They/Them pronouns. I’ve been wanting to do it for awhile and a recent interaction on a post about my veteran status made me feel like it was time.
I used They/She/He pronouns because as a visual learner it helped me to remember not to succumb to the binary. Those set of pronouns helped me move into spaces just as I am and demand safety. I am grateful to have used them but for a lot of people it felt like permission to use She/Her pronouns exclusively for me. I shared an experience in a post along with some questions I wish the person had asked instead of reaching for what they felt more comfortable with.
Things they could’ve said instead: -”I’m unfamiliar with your pronouns, could you share a little bit about them?” -”Is there a certain way you like your pronouns used?” -”Thank you for having your pronouns displayed. Would you be able to talk about them with me?” -”I don’t want to misgender or disrespect you. Could you help me use your pronouns?”
As I grew, learned more about myself and gender, I could feel these set of pronouns not expressing what I wanted them to anymore. They felt like the top I said I really liked, just to stop having to try on more clothes in the fitting room. Anytime someone used She/Her to describe me, I would immediately ask if They/Them could be used instead.
The number one reason it took me so long to let go is because of Black women. Black women are the most disrespected people in America and the people that support my work the most. I felt like I would be abandoning a community that I love so dearly and that I had been apart of so long.
The truth is I’m not and never will. I center Black women in all that I do and being honest about who I am will not change that. Plus, I found a really good article, Being both Non-Binary and a Black Woman, that helped me see that many Black gender non-conforming , trans AFAB people feel the same.
This is my final farewell to the binary and all the permission I need to live my life as me. 😘
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