Pronouns: A Limited Supply

In a binary world filled to the brim with stereotypes, the simple pronoun may not seem like much to the cisgender person but can be a big deal to those outside the binary or who are switching to the other side of the gender spectrum. With pronouns come a whole can of stereotypes tipped off by the little words. Oh, this is a she, so she is obviously a woman and probably wants a boyfriend and children and all of those other stereotypes centered around woman. Or oh, this is a he, so he is obviously a man and probably is afraid of commitment and just wants to have sex and all of those other stereotypes centered around men. The point is that two things typically make up what gender you are in outward appearance: your looks (i.e. your clothes, haircut, body type, etc.) and your pronouns.

So, for those who feel dysphoria from being called a she or a he because of what that really means, you may want to change your pronoun to something you’re more comfortable with, or you may just want to stay with your given one. The good news is that (at least with a select group of people such as supporting friends) you can decide to change your pronoun and be able to have people address you by that. Just because you switch pronouns doesn’t mean you’re any less gender fluid. It’s just the problem that this society is binary and not a lot of people will want to listen to what gender fluidity is so that they can get your pronouns correct. In that case, you have options for how strangers will call you and if you can, how close friends will call you.

Strangers/Acquaintances/etc.

As said above, this is a binary world and you get a choice of 2 pronouns for the majority of the world. Unless you’re bold enough to explain to everyone to call you ‘they’ or one of the gender neutral pronouns such as ‘ze’ or ‘hir’, the truth of the matter is that you’re going to have to choose either male or female. It smooths over situations where you don’t really know someone or you know they’re unaccepting of the trans* community.

Option #1

Sticking with the original pronouns. Instead of getting used to a whole new set of pronouns and tripping those who already know you up, you stick with the original pronouns. The good news is that if you don’t switch pronouns, people will not misgender you based just on pronoun, such as those who are already used to your assigned gender. It also saves the troubles of coming out in case someone has heard you’re this gender or has seen you with a more feminine/masculine body.

The bad side is that being misgendered can lead to dysphoria. If you’re in a guy phase but people call you a ‘she’, or vice verse, it’s likely to result in your being reminded that, yes, you were born with a male/female body and not the other gender’s body.

How does this apply to gender fluidity? If you’re an FAAB gender fluid person who is more feminine than masculine most of the time, you might prefer your original pronoun because it fits you most of the time anyway. It really depends on if you’re more masculine or feminine (or neutral, I know) for the majority of the time.

Option #2

Switching to the opposite pronouns. This is something that seems like it’s more for you than anything else, considering you’re asking others to completely change your pronouns to the very opposite of how they see you. Just remember that if you change to the opposite pronouns, it isn’t selfish or wrong, it’s what makes you feel comfortable. If you identify more as the opposite gender then switching over can ease the dysphoria over being so closely identified as your given gender. It might also be a further persuasion to those who know you’re gender fluid to really accept you’re not your given gender.

The bad side would be having others get used to your new pronouns, have strangers point out that you do not look like a he or she because of your body, even though that’s how you feel. There also may be the dysphoria when you feel like your given gender (if you ever do) yet you have chosen new pronouns.

How does this apply to gender fluidity? You might have the same problem as before, with dysphoria. Though you may feel more of the opposite gender for most of the time, there may be days you can get dysphoria. The point of choosing the binary gender is to feel more like who you are most of the time.

Those Who Know

The Desired Option

All right, maybe it isn’t the option all gender fluid people desire, but it’s the one I’m most familiar with, both from myself and reading about other people’s posts. The preferred pronoun is he and she (and possibly others, such as ‘they’, mind), depending on their gender identity for the time being. To be able to have people refer to you as the pronoun you feel like, to be able to switch at any time, would be ideal. The good part? You’ve come out to those who are closest to you (for better or worse) and as long as the others can grasp the idea, you can switch between genders as you like.

The bad part? Some people will not understand that you’re outside of the binary. Or it may take some convincing that it’s not just part of your personality, or something that’s not just a phase, and whatever else. Or someone may even tease you over this. Just because someone says someone nasty doesn’t mean you should believe what they’ve said. You know who you are. If others can’t accept that then perhaps they aren’t worth of your time.

 

Those are the options for gender fluid people, the most evident and fitting ones. Agenders and androgynes may want to go as ‘they’. It would be grand if you could wake up and tell those you trust that today you’re a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ and they understand perfectly. And if you can achieve that, congratulations, honestly. Just remember your pronouns when coming to strangers or others, it may just be the difference between a dysphoria-filled evening and the thrill of being called your preferred pronoun.

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