By Annette Pinder
Inclusive pronouns are pronouns that do not specify a gender. They are often used by people who do not identify as male or female, or who do not want to disclose their gender. Inclusive pronouns can include they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, xe/xir/xyrs, and many others. Ze/zir/zirs is pronounced like “zee/zee-er/zee-ers,” and xe/xir/xyrs, which is pronounced like “zee/xer/xers.” Ze/zir/zirs and xe/xir/xyrs are often used in place of he/him/his and she/her/hers. For example, you might say “Ze went to the store” instead of “He went to the store” or “Xe is a friend of mine” instead of “She is a friend of mine.”
The most common gender-neutral pronouns are “they” and “their” when referring to someone whose gender you do not know or do not want to specify. For example, you might say “They left their umbrella in the library” if you do not know who left the umbrella. You can also use “they” and “their” when referring to someone who does not identify as male or female. For example, you might say “My friend is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.”
It is important to remember that not everyone who uses ze/zir/zirs or xe/xir/xyrs or they and them identifies as non-binary. Some people who use these pronouns identify as genderqueer, genderfluid, or agender. It is always best to ask someone what pronouns they use before using them. If you are not sure how to use ze/zir/zirs or xe/xir/xyrs or they and them, you can always ask the person you are communicating with. It is always best to ask, and they will be happy to help you. You can simply say, “What pronouns do you use?” or “What are your pronouns?” It is also important to remember that people’s pronouns may change over time, so it is a good idea to ask again if you are unsure.
There are many reasons why inclusive pronouns are important. First, they can help to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for people of all genders. Also, when we use inclusive pronouns, we are showing respect for people’s gender identities and affirming their right to be who they are. Finally, inclusive pronouns can help to challenge traditional gender stereotypes. By using inclusive pronouns, we can help to create a more gender-neutral society where people are not judged or discriminated against based on their gender.
Here are some general tips for using inclusive pronouns:
- Ask people what pronouns they use.
- Use the pronouns that people tell you to use.
- If you make a mistake, apologize and correct yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Remember that everyone’s pronouns are valid.
Using inclusive pronouns is a simple way to show respect for people of all genders. By using inclusive pronouns, we can help to create a more inclusive and welcoming world for everyone.