It’s pretty laughable to me that people want to argue grammar with me considering I run an entire writing company and they…don’t. Especially on International Pronouns Day. If you have a friend that uses they/them pronouns (or you do), you’ve heard the lines before. The people that try to argue they/them pronouns don’t make sense because you can’t use a plural for a singular, or whatever they like to say.
I try to tune it out, I won’t lie. However, I like to hear how other non-binary people respond. One of my favorite people to learn how to respond in a loving way from is Alok. They have such a beautiful way of describing pushback and hate. Somehow, they find a way to take something toxic and make it beautiful. I can only hope to have that kind of presence someday. To dig into my mind for loving things to say when I really want to say things I won’t post on this blog.
Alok’s responses are beautiful and their description of pronouns was no exception. Instead of mocking or asking questions that might make someone feel trapped, Alok described using pronouns like they/them as like creating a new map for the words.
They said it’s like approaching a lake that’s not on a map yet. You’re not going to say the lake isn’t real just because it hasn’t been mapped yet. You’re going to update the map. That’s what we’re doing right now with pronouns, too. They are real. We’re not changing the entire language. It’s just time for a belonging update.
Loving And Learning For International Pronouns Day
I love to learn from Alok and other smart thinkers from around the world, so today in honor of International Pronouns Day, we’re doing a special edition post of things we love. Stories, videos, and people we love to learn from. Content you can share with friends (and keep for yourself) to figure out pronouns and upgrade your language map to reflect reality today.
If your favorites are missing, add them as a comment on the blog. This International Pronouns Day, let’s create the resources to recommend and refer smart people to everyone.
For People Who Are New To Pronouns:
- What is a pronoun? What do I do if I misgender someone? You can learn that here.
- 10 Things You Should NEVER Tell A Non Binary Person
- What People Get Wrong About They/Them Pronouns
- 5 Non-Binary People Explain What “Non-Binary” Means To Them
People To Follow And Learn From (aka my favorite theybies and gentlethems):
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.