Using binary pronouns as a non-binary person

Note: This post’s perspective may be a bit off because despite running this blog, I’m actually not out to anybody in my life yet. (I’m going to change that soon, though.)

I currently use the pronouns they/them. This is a fairly common choice. However, I have sometimes seen non-binary people say that people can use binary pronouns on them as long as they switch what they use sometimes (i.e. sometimes use she/her, sometimes use he/him). This is usually in addition to a non-binary pronoun.

I can understand the appeal of this. As a person with a non-binary identity that has multiple genders (I’m genderfluid; this can apply to bigender, pangender, etc. too), I can empathize with the desire to have them individually recognized by others. (I was AMAB, and I’ve been misgendered as female exactly once, which was a moment I actually quite liked because it felt like the female part of my identity was being acknowledged when a lot of the time it’s suppressed.)

However, I can see some flaws with this that could arise with some people. (Don’t let me or anyone discourage you from using any kind of identity.) For one thing, if you’re genderfluid, the pronouns people use on you might not always align with how you’re feeling. Also, this method could cause confusion with you and others knowing when you’re being referred to as opposed to someone else. This is negated a lot by people’s ability to use context, though, which makes a larger difference than one might think.

Overall, this approach to pronouns has positives and negatives. I obviously can’t predict how well you would like it, but if you found out something new that you like, that’s great. I personally don’t do this right now, but I’m quite heavily considering it.

I’m Ari (they/them), and I would love to hear your comment.

No, “he or she” is not valid

People apparently are getting into quite the debate over whether singular “they” is grammatically correct, despite the fact that oftentimes those against it use it regularly, and that it’s been part of the English language for millennia.

However, the debate over “they” vs. “he or she” has to also include non-binary people. Quite obviously, “he or she” just doesn’t include everybody! I am a strong believer in the power of language, and for that reason I think that this is important. Additionally, many non-binary people, myself included, use “they” as their pronoun. To say that it’s grammatically incorrect makes it impossible to refer to these people correctly.

Overall, not only is singular “they” valid and correct, but “he or she” is clearly invalid.

I apologize for not posting yesterday.

As always, I would love to hear anything you have to say relating to this or any topic connected to genderfluidity in the comments section. You can call me Ari and my pronouns are they/them.