“I’ve decided I’d like to ask my friends to start using they/them as my pronouns, but I’m not entirely sure how to go about it. I hate feeling like I have to explain myself all the time. I get the impression that whenever anything’s different people freak out and have to know WHY it’s not like they thought it would be, and sometimes life just IS. How do I explain that to the people I interact with?”
- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Tyler Ford as a part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions
I’m actually in the process of informing everyone I know about my preferred pronouns as well (also they/them/theirs). Here’s how I did it on Twitter:
Y’all, my preferred pronouns are currently they/them/theirs and she/her/hers. Please and thank you.
They/them/theirs as in: I love Tyler. They’re a great person. I saw them yesterday and they were wearing a really cute coat.
That’s it. I’m not into explaining my gender identity to anyone. I don’t feel it’s necessary. I know who I am and I’m happy with myself and that’s what matters to me. You don’t have to explain yourself either. And if you do, it’s up to you to decide how much you want to disclose. You don’t need to go into your entire life story about how you came to realize you wanted to be referred to by a different set of pronouns. Maybe it’ll suffice for you to say, “these are the pronouns I feel suit me best and they’re also the pronouns that make me the most comfortable.” All you need to do is speak your truth, no matter how elaborate or concise. I’m not saying everyone is going to get it right all the time, and I’m not saying it won’t be a difficult adjustment for some (possibly including yourself), but friends are friends because they support you and love you and want to make you comfortable. Over time (as with all things, these discussions take practice), you’ll get a better grasp on how you want to address the topic with friends, family, and strangers, and it’ll all get easier and easier to discuss. You already seem pretty comfortable with yourself, and that’s half the battle.
All my support,