Why I prefer male pronouns

I am someone who is inhabiting a world in between genders.  There is a growing set of words, a subculture of sorts, and there are political agendas surrounding this experience.  And in theory, I am on board with all I’ve seen (and let me clarify that what I’ve seen is almost entirely online at this time, and not reflected in the world I actually live in).  But in actuality, not every part of it appeals to me personally.  Which is OK – I can still support it while simultaneously getting the word out that not all non-binary people have the same needs, preferences, and agendas.

I’m going to go with a break-down of three categories:  Pronouns, Bathrooms, and Legal Designations / Forms.  And talk a little about the discussions I’ve seen, but also how I personally feel.

Pronouns:   I prefer to be referred to with male pronouns:  He/Him/His.  The reason for this is:  because it is my preference.  It really is as simple as that – no explanation needed.  It feels the most right (although no pronouns actually feel “right” for me).  That’s all it comes down to – a feeling.

Many non-binary people go by They/Them/Their, along with a myriad of more obscure pronouns.  Some people have assumed that I go by They/Them/Their, because I identify as non-binary.  That is fine.  It’s not my preference, but I’m not offended by this assumption, nor do I mind being referred to in this way.  I have felt some pressure (from within myself only) to adopt the They/Them/Their/ set in order to align myself more with an idea of a non-binary identity, and to take a stand / stand-out more for what some people truly feel they need (which is to be referred to with gender neutral pronouns – it is definitely a need for some people).  But, bottom line, it does not feel right for me.  Male pronouns feel (more) right.

(And I imagine if I really break it down, this correlates to how I see my gender:  I do not feel as if I am without gender, genderless, agender, or gender neutral.  Instead, I feel as if I am an amalgam of genders, a kaleidoscope.  And so it feels right that I view my identity’s make-up as pieces from all genders, rather than a rejection of anything that is gendered.)

I have seen many preferred sets of pronouns online (such as Ze/Hir/Hirs, Ey/Em/Eir/Eirs, Xe/Xem/Xyr/Xyrs and also ones based off of nouns).  But in actual real life, I have come into contact with only one person, so far, with a preference for a set like this – and I immediately proceeded to mess it up when talking out loud.  I have met a couple of people who prefer They/Them/Their, and that feels immediately do-able in real life, because these are words we’re all familiar with pronouncing.  And… that’s kinda the difference – much of the online world is written, it’s visual.  And it’s easy to backspace and try again.  The real world involves much more talking out loud, at a conversational pace, and I personally am a long way from incorporating these newish words naturally into a conversation.  That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to.  It doesn’t mean I don’t support it.  It means, in practice, I have a lot of work to do.  And that work is difficult to do if I do not have people in my life who want to be referred to in this way – it’s hard to practice if I’m not actively practicing, essentially.  And, since I am someone who identifies as non-binary, I might be, in theory, someone on the most sensitive, most open, end of the spectrum, in terms of the general populous.  I have a lot of trouble with it, from a practical perspective, at this time.

To summarize:  Incorporating these newer pronouns is do-able.  I support it.  For some people, it is not a preference, but a need, in order to feel comfortable.  I personally do not need or prefer to be referred to by gender neutral pronouns.  I have a long way to go in terms of enacting this language.  Which, I believe, means the general population has a much longer way to go.  It’s hard to make progress if I’m not actively using the words in regular conversation.  At this time, I am not actively using the words in regular conversation.  This is where I’m at with pronouns.  It’s hard to gauge where the world at large is at, but I imagine progress will be very very slow.  I’m just thinking pragmatically here.  Ideally, I wish it were easy.

This got a lot longer than I thought it would.  It’s complicated!  So again I’m going to break the topics up; look forward to yet another series!  Up next:  part 2 – Bathrooms and part 3 – Legal Designations / Forms.