International Pronoun Day 2022
Happy #InternationalPronounDay! To all my fellow theys, to those who aren't out yet, to those who are only out to their friends, to those who have to choose the wrong pronouns at doctor offices, to those who bravely and openly assert their pronouns, I love you.
If you're an ally hoping to get better at using they/them pronouns, but you find it confusing and a bit of a struggle, I have compiled a little list of tips for you:
Read stories with people that use they/them pronouns. It's been used as a singular pronoun since the 14th century, so there's a lot out there. Once you start reading it, you'll get used to how it works, grammatically.
Try writing/typing out sentences referring to people who use they/them pronouns.
i.e. "Sam is going to the supermarket later. Ask them to get me some sparkling water, please."
https://practicewithpronouns.com is a great resource to start with.
Start practicing aloud. Have conversations using they/them pronouns for people you don't know the pronouns of.
i.e. "The barista did a good job. They were really nice!"
You are not going to perfect it overnight! The more you use it, the easier it will get.
If you accidentally use the wrong pronouns — just restate your sentence with the correct pronouns, then move on. You can throw in a short "oops", "my bad", or "sorry", but I cannot stress how awkward it is when people over-apologise to us.
When you say, "I can't believe I've done this", "I was doing so well", "I feel awful", you make it into a big deal and it can make some of us feel like a burden. Casually correct yourself. Move on.
PASS IT ON
If none of this is applicable to you, because you've already successfully mastered the art of using they/them as a singular pronoun in a sentence, that's great!
Now, please, I beg you, go teach your friends, so that we don't have to.