🏳️‍🌈#LGBTVoices Celebrates🏳️‍🌈

Today’s Thread Topic: Pronouns.

Pronouns are as profoundly important to a person’s identity as their name. Using a person’s identifying pronouns means treating them with the respect they deserve as a human being.

Many feel confused with society’s evolving attitude towards gender pronouns. Transgender people can identify under traditional binary pronouns, or under a flexible set of gender neutral pronouns.

Referring to a person by their chosen pronouns is essential to respecting them. 2)
Binary pronouns are the ones we are most familiar with: he/she. A binary trans person identifies as the opposite of the gender most common to the sex they were assigned at birth.

Sex and gender are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same thing. 3)
Sex describes the karyotype a person was assigned at birth, that is their chromosomes. Usually, XX for female, XY for male.

While that is the most common forms of sex, it is important to remember that up to 2% of the population is born intersex.

Thats 153 million people! 4)
With 153 million intersex people living in the world, it’s easy to see that this issue is more complicated than some would have you believe.

Even in typical XX or XY people, scientists have found further variations that blur the traditional sex divide. 5)
Gender, however, doesn’t describe biology, and gender identity determines pronouns.

Gender describes the state of being male, female, neither, or fluid with reference to social or cultural differences, not biological ones.

A person decides their gender, it isn’t assigned. 6)
Skeptics who conflate sex and gender claim that gender has traditionally been tied to biological sex.

The mechanics of sex however, that is the chromosome, wasn’t discovered until 1905, while English gender pronouns originated in pre-Roman Iron age Europe around 500 BCE. 7)
Language changes. It is not set in stone. As recently as a decade ago, many claimed marriage was only defined as between a man and a woman. 2000 years ago, it could be defined polygamously.

Our understanding of gender has evolved just as our understanding of marriage has. 8)
Another analogy illustrates this for me. Would you refuse to call an adoptive parent a parent?

We can describe parents in terms of biology, that is the people that birthed a child. An adoptive parent IS a parent in the social and cultural context.

So it is with gender. 9)
Many people are a non-binary, identifying as a gender that is fluid, or neutral. There are many pronouns they may use, most commonly they/them.

It is always ok, even best, to ask a person how they wish to be referred, just as you would their name. 10)
I’ve heard people balk at gender neutral pronouns, not realizing that they are grammatically correct.

Imagine a person whose gender you didn’t know went to a store. You would say “they went to the store.” That’s using a gender neutral pronoun. 11)

Some non-binary people identify with less common pronouns than they/them. This seems to trigger conservatives the most.

It seems strange to me that those who profess that people should be free to express themselves as individuals belittle people for doing just that. 12)
Identifying as cisgender, or with the gender that traditionally corresponds with your birth sex, is a form of privilege.

Understanding this, we can imagine what it would be like to lack that privilege, and treat others how we would want to be treated in their place. 13)
In the end, it comes down to this. Do you want to be an asshole? As with all free speech issues, you are free to choose to marginalize people by misgendering them, but you are not immune to society’s judgement of that behavior.

Don’t be an asshole. Treat people with respect. 14)
It is important to talk about gender. Don’t be ashamed of asking which pronouns a person uses, trans people are used to it.

Sometimes we mistakenly misgender someone, and that’s embarrassing, but understandable. Respect means making an effort. 15)
The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee has an excellent guide for further reading on gender pronouns. 16)

As a cisgender person, I sought the experiences of trans people to better understand gender.

A great place to start is with the youtuber @ContraPoints. Natalie’s videos are artistic, instructive, and fabulous. This video heavily informed this thread. 17)
#LGBTVoices will be celebrating #TransAwarenessMonth throughout the rest of Nov.

Keep up with our tweets by checking out our hashtag.
Use it to tell your own stories!
See our past tweets in the thread below. #TransRightsAreHumanRights

We see you. 🤗🌈❤️

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