Nonbinary Nomenclature: On Gender and Pronouns

It has taken me years to settle into my identity, but I am now comfortable saying that I am a nonbinary trans person. I have called myself a “nonbinary woman” in the past, because in spite of my personal gender identity, I am perceived as female by most everyone, and that shapes how people treat me. I will always deal with misogyny, regardless of my gender, because I am FAAB (female assigned at birth) and will always be perceived by most as a woman, simply because of my appearance. This perception does not bother me enough to correct everyone, primarily because I do not feel safe doing such a thing. I wish everyone could just know and understand my gender, but that’s not the world we live in. The world we live in is one where trans people are victimized, and that’s something I live in fear of. Taking this step, saying this publicly here, this is huge to me. This is me putting myself on the chopping block and asking everyone to put down the knife.

Still, in spite of a general fear of how strangers may treat me, I am making the effort to use gender-neutral pronouns, not just for myself, but in general. I am tired of misgendering people on an assumption that is as faulty with anyone else as it is with me. I’m tired of calling everyone with breasts “she” and everyone without “he,” as if it’s really that simple. I’m tired of seeing exterior markers of stereotypically gendered characteristics and (egotistically) making the assumption that I can know a person’s gender. I can’t, and I don’t want to make that mistake.

So, everyone is “ze” or “they” to me now. And I ask that others use ze/zir/zirs or they/them/theirs for me (or really any gender-neutral pronouns, I’m not picky). This is going to be difficult to implement, and I apologize in advance for the million times I will fuck this shit up. I might misgender you. I will misgender myself. I will not be able to implement this flawlessly, but that does not mean it should be abandoned. I am going to try my damnedest to make this work, and that includes using these pronouns at work. I am an English educator, and I’m making a huge change to my linguistics; that cannot be done in a vacuum. This is something that will take purposeful implementation, explanation, and discussion, but I trust the maturity of my students, and hope I might even open a few minds with this. Above all, though, I hope I am offering a safety blanket to those who are nonbinary, who are trans and using alternate pronouns, who are binary but assumed the wrong gender. Those marginalized people, they are the ones I am doing this for. Because I want the world to have one less hostile person in it–me.


About bunnika

shout at the brick wall; if it doesn't hear you, shout louder
This entry was posted in challenging privilege, trans/nonbinary rights. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Nonbinary Nomenclature: On Gender and Pronouns

  1. wonald76 says:

    Are you a dude?

    • bunnika says:

      Do you even read?

      • wonald76 says:

        Yes I do read. You are technically FAAB but in the blog you identify as trans, which sounds like you internally are a dude. If not, please clarify what you mean.

        • bunnika says:

          Exactly how many times do you need to read the word “nonbinary” before you notice its existence?

          • wonald76 says:

            ok, I guess I just don’t see how that is ‘trans’ then– usually to me trans involves being born in the wrong body in some aspect and actively try to present as something different. If you don’t present differently from your FAAB or desire to then I don’t get the use of trans. You just sound like a common woman, non-trans, as gender identity is pretty fluid in a lot of areas

            • bunnika says:

              It’s not my job to educate you on what the trans umbrella is, what nonbinarism is, or what “criteria” you must meet to be trans. Do some googling before you come back with more binarist gender policing.

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