Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gender 101: Episode 17: The No Pronoun Preference

In this episode my gender queer friend Lucy explains how even well-intentioned questions about preferred gender pronouns from queer people and our allies can misfire - and then explains how to successfully navigate the conversation.

I really am learning so much!  Thanks, Lucy.



Kelly Robinson said...

Very informative and makes so much sense. Pronouns take the place of a noun, so there's no reason they have to be used at all. (As we learned on Schoolhouse Rock, though, if your name is Rufus Xavier Sasaparilla, it can be tiring to say!)

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

I love the name "Rufus Xavier Sasaparilla!" (I'm going to have to watch that one again soon.)
Glad the video resonated for you,

ivanova said...

I learned something here. I can see how it could be awkward if you ended up with a sentence like like "Sasparilla left Sasparilla's bag in Sasparilla's car," but being respectful is worth it.

LBT said...

And as many folk who've been closeted about the gender of a significant other can tell you (plenty of LGBs), constructing sentences in ways that don't require pronouns may take practice, but can end up sounding perfectly unstilted.

"She & I tried to be punctual, but she forgot the tickets in the car and I forgot my jacket."
"The two of us tried to be punctual, but forgot the tickets and a jacket in the car."
Also saying "this one" and nodding towards the person in question when telling a story about someone who is present is a handy trick, especially in casual contexts.

Anonymous said...

My GSA plays a kind of game for introductions that I learned at a team building work shop. Everyone introduces themself, but they do it in the third person, like they were introducing a friend. Besides being an interesting twists on introductions, it's also a good way to find out how someone wants to be referred to without explicitly asking them.

Emilie K said...

One of my friends is gender-fluid, and when I was introduced to [name], they said 'you can call me [name], and as for pronouns... i use 'unicorn''. This just goes to show that we have no actual use for pronouns, other than the sheer fact that we always have used them! My friend is the cooled unicorn i've ever met :)