What do you think about the practice of indicating your pronouns (she/her/hers) after your name as is being advocated by many in the queer community? I, and I think like you, consider myself to be bi-gender or gender diverse (and a few other inadequate labels) I enjoy and am comfortable with my male persona but also know how important for my sanity it is to have time and space for Martha – my feminine persona or energy.
So when I sign a note sometimes as Martha I include (she/her/hers) but in truth I wonder if what I should put is (sometimes she/her and sometimes he/his) And maybe I should sign my name Martha/Joe with the above pronouns?
This is an excellent question.
It is, in a way, similar to the poorly termed “werewolf paradox” I wrote about recently.
Hannah is HER. In boy mode I am HE.
Together we are THEY.
When I am asked to provide my pronouns, I use the terms that align with the gender I am presenting as. So, it is either HE or SHE.
I do feel a twinge of… hm, dishonesty? when I check ‘him’ on a pronoun question as I often think ‘they’ would be a better representation for who I essentially am. My heart, soul, and body houses two genders, so THEY covers both.
But for the most part I present as one gender or the other. My other gender identity is rarely relevant when I am out in the real world. No one really cares or needs to know who HE is when Hannah is present. The opposite is also true, of course.
And yes, normalizing THEY is a positive thing, but I think it would present issues and open the door to conversations I don’t want to have if I identify as THEY to the people in my life that only know me as a HE.
So as far as the majority of the world is concerned, I am, in pronouns or in presentation, HE or SHE.
I absolutely appreciate when someone provides their pronouns, whether it’s on the nametag of a cashier or in the signature of a work email. This says to me “I acknowledge that one’s pronouns aren’t always obvious and I understand that gender is not binary.”
When Hannah is out in the real world, I feel that she is interacting with an ally when one provides their pronouns. I feel safer. One providing their pronouns doesn’t necessarily mean they are queer. Many of my straight/cis gender friends and colleagues have their pronouns on social media or in their professional communication.
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