These Kids and Their Pronouns

I totally get that not everyone fits into the he/she dichotomy. I totally feel like a guy (although maybe not entirely the classic macho “bruh” kinda guy) but I get that some people don’t. They may not feel like either or maybe both or they may even feel more masculine one day and more feminine another. We barely know anything about how consciousness works so why would we try to force our notions of it into two narrowly defined category, especially in the face of evidence that they don’t work?

My daughter has a very good friend whose pronouns are they and them. This friend has been so very good for her and I am happy they have found each other; my only wish was that they had met earlier in high school. My daughter (who uses she/her) has no problem using they/them pronouns and does so consistently.

I, however, am an old straight guy and I’m not doing so well. This friend, were you to see them in public without knowing them, would likely appear to be female. And so it got stuck in my head. I really do try to get it right, but I slip up more often than I would like. My daughter always calls me out and I correct myself, as I should. I’m getting better and I’m working hard at it. But I’m not perfect. I’m old and set in my ways and it will take work on my part to have the singular “they” come naturally to me. It’s work I’m willing to do, however.

I’m willing to put in the effort because it’s the right thing to do. You show respect to others by acknowledging them and their own unique situation. It’s what one does.

What really gives me hope, though, is that it seems to come naturally to young people. I’m not sure if they just get it better, if they’re more used to it, or if the collective norm has shifted to seeing they/them as the default until told otherwise? I don’t know but the willingness of today’s youth to accept people for who they are and the ease with which they adapt to someone’s preferred pronouns makes me very proud of them.

This post is part of LGBTQ Families Day, hosted by #LGBTQFamiliesDay

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