Today is/has been Trans Day of Visibility, an annual celebration of trans people and opportunity for folks to be out and proud.
I think I’m fairly out on this blog but just in case, I am a proud genderfluid nonbinary trans person! My pronouns are ze zir or they them their. I originally used the former, but I’ve actually come to prefer the latter.
For anyone who’s not familiar with the terminology:
- Genderfluid means my subjective experience of my gender changes, including self-perception, bodily feelings, how I want others to perceive me, mannerisms, etc. Others have perceived changes in my energy, for what that’s worth. It seems to be mostly in response to my situation and/or the people I’m with.
- Nonbinary means I identify as a gender other than “man” or “woman.”
- Trans / transgender means I identify as a gender other than the one I was assigned at birth.
- Pronouns are words we use to refer to someone instead of repeating their name. For example: “Ziya went to the store. Ze dropped zir wallet. Thank goodness I saw it and returned it to zir!”
I recently learned of a couple developments in the visibility of nonbinary people that make me very happy. I’d been meaning to share them here, and this seems like the perfect time.
CBS News ran a story including nonbinary under the trans umbrella, explaining what it means, and featuring several different people who are nonbinary – including using their pronouns. It made me so happy to see that in mainstream media!
AP Style now allows use of they as a singular pronoun to “[…] recognize the need for a pronoun for people who don’t identify as a he or a she.” I’ll admit this seemed much more awesome when I thought it was the APA (American Psychological Association), which dictates the style and language I’ll need to use when I finally get around to writing my thesis. But if the AP approves of singular they, either APA will follow suit (if they haven’t already made the change) or I can have a stronger argument for using it.
Hopefully, as it is used more in mainstream writing, more people will become familiar with singular they and respect it when I assert my pronouns.
[Insert suitably awesome closing 1-2 sentences here.]