Occasionally you might meet someone who breaks the “normal” binary, and uses they/them pronouns, but there is more than one way to identify as non-binary. Neopronouns are new coinages that were created as an alternative to “they.” Some of them go back further than you might guess, and new ones have cropped up over the years. Once you’ve learned about neopronouns, you might feel like they’re a better fit for you than what you’re using now. Here are some tips for writing respectfully about historical gender variant people whose actual preferred names, pronouns, and gender identities might not be known. The use of singular theyas a gender-neutral pronoun has been documented as standard usage in English throughout the past thousand years. The more well known neopronouns are from the 20th century, but historically there have been two used since the 1300s, specifically ou and (h)a. Some regional dialects of English throughout history have/had gender neutral pronouns that aren't used in standard English. It's ridiculous. Although neopronouns tend to be gender neutral or might be specifically meant to indicate a transgender or nonbinary person, a person who goes by neopronouns could actually be a man, a woman, both, neither, or something else entirely. Why have so few people heard of it?”. Please note that some people go by multiple sets of pronouns or by certain sets of pronouns among only certain audiences (just as some people have different legal names from the primary names they go by, or special names they use in certain spaces, such as pen names or performer/artist names). Below are some of the most common examples of neopronouns. Neopronouns can be used by anyone, though most often they are used by transgender, non-binary, and/or gender nonconforming people. They are mostly used by non-binary or trans individuals who don't feel that he, she, or they can comfortably apply to them. Not really, no one is expecting you to learn or even know all of the neopronouns or even their history. But it’s true. I've been spending time around unfamiliar cis people lately, which means I'm around people who don't know the basics of gender. Again we see guidance on the usage of neopronouns in the context of trans equality exaggerated to the point of compulsory blanket usage. many people don't proactively share their gender just as many people don't proactively share their race, class, or sexuality with mere acquaintances). Specifically speaking, “a neopronoun is a category for any English neutral pronouns that are independent from traditional third person English pronouns. Read writing from The Transgender Therapist on Medium. Ok, so just how many neopronouns are there? Some people who do not feel comfortable identifying with They/Them/Theirs like others do. Some examples: xe/xem/xir/xeself sea/sear/seas/seaself fae/faer/faes.faeself bun/bun/buns/bunself and my favorite: … 2018, Matthew J. Metzger, Life Underwater, NineStar Press, LLC Only—Ashraf didn't know any Italian neopronouns. Scroll to the end for a full pronouns list. Ze/hir pronouns: “Ze is a writer and wrote that book hirself.Those ideas are hirs.I like both hir and hir ideas.” Ze/zir pronouns: “Ze is a writer and wrote that book zirself.Those ideas are zirs.I like both zir and zir ideas.”. Prescriptive grammarians of the late eighteenth century instead recommended using "he" … If you know someone who uses neopronouns, then yes it is expected that once you are told what they use for you to learn them, but again, that is for people you know and engage with. "I had already come out as using ‘they/them’ pronouns," says Justin, 32. Just as we generally have names we go by, we also tend to have pronouns that we want to be referred to by. Many of them are actually not that new.” These are third-person pronouns in the same vein of he/him/his, she/her/hers, and they/them/theirs in the English language to provide examples. By Sebastian McGaughey on February 28, 2020 . There have historically been quite a few neopronouns in the English language, with origins in trans and non-binary communities, but also science fiction and other literature. If it helps, every time you feel a twinge of pain calling them by their new name, remind yourself of how scary and sad it must have been to discover truth this about themself, and have to live with being called by their old name. Neopronouns are not "They/Them" as some people may think. Some examples include: xe/xem/xyr, ze/hir/hirs, and ey/em/eir. 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