Preferred Pronouns

January 3, 2014

I don’t understand preferred pronouns. If your issue with pronouns is their gender, English has a genderless pronoun — singular they. It’s not a new invention. It’s been around forever. Shakespeare and Chaucer both used singular they. I’m sure many people, like me, were raised with singular they. Singular they is something that we all already know and understand, so it doesn’t need to be learned.

The thing that bugs me about preferred pronouns is that they’re never used. When talking to someone, you say “you.” When talking about someone, you say “they.”

I get gender. I get sexuality. I grew up and have lived the majority of my life in an LGBT community that hosts annual pride parades, and flies giant pride flags year round on a huge flag pole at the intersection of Normal and Harvey Milk. I get that T still gets thrown under the bus by the rest of the acronym and other would-be allies. But I don’t get preferred pronouns.