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JCC Transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer

Discussion in 'Community' started by Darth Dobrolous, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. Darth Dobrolous

    Darth Dobrolous Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jan 7, 2016
    A thread here for people who wish to discuss issues affecting trans, genderqueer, and non binary people.

    Looking forward to meeting you all.
     
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  2. Zapdos

    Zapdos Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 7, 2013
    hey you're a brit living in norway. cool.
     
  3. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Like I said in the other thread before it got seriously derailed, I have a lot to learn on this issue, so I'll be watching this thread.

    One of my coworkers last year was nonbinary, only used "they" pronouns instead of he/she pronouns, it was quite an educational experience.

    I wish the English language had a natural gender-neutral pronoun. It was so difficult to keep referring to that coworker as "they" in the singular. I would mess up often, it didn't feel right to not use it in the plural.

    Does anyone know of any other options for gender-neutral pronouns? (Maybe this will help keep this thread on-track)
     
  4. TrakNar

    TrakNar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Well, I've seen xe/xer used, but I prefer they/them. The problem now is easing a conservative local society into using said pronouns...
     
  5. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    I have always wondered about they/them, since I don't know anyone who uses these. So you are supposed to still use them as singular ("They is a coworker of mine")?

    If that's the case, am I terrible for wishing there were simply a new set of pronouns? And yes, English is annoying.
     
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  6. EmpireForever

    EmpireForever Jedi Grand Master star 8

    Registered:
    Mar 15, 2004
    I don't understand what's so hard about "they". People use it singularly all the time.
     
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  7. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Mostly people who are very uneducated or older, which leads it a strange connotation in my mind. No one I associate with ever uses "they" this way, so it makes it feel strange to me. Whereas a new pronoun wouldn't have existing associations.
     
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  8. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Yes, but "they are," not "they is."

    So if I mean to say "Dexter is on the way, so make room for Dexter at the table." It would be "they are on the way, make room for them at the table."


    I don't. It just feels painfully awkward. I tried with my coworker though, and wound correct myself when I made a mistake.
     
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  9. EmpireForever

    EmpireForever Jedi Grand Master star 8

    Registered:
    Mar 15, 2004
    It's painful?
     
  10. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Well yeah, but that's using it as a plural. Sort of like the Royal We. And honestly I find that sounds less difficult to use without associating what you're saying with poor grammar. People already use "they are coming" for a single person, as you said, even though it's not grammatically correct.

    But "they is coming" has a different connotation, at least in general American English.

    So I'm just trying to sort out which is really preferred.
     
  11. JoinTheSchwarz

    JoinTheSchwarz JC Head Admin & Community Manager star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Yeah, that's what outdated education does to you (not specifically you)! It's the current preference in many English departments around the country, and it's in journalism style guides as well. It's easier than introducing a new pronoun and about connotations, well, it's also probably easier to get rid of classist prejudices.
     
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  12. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Well you can blame my outdated education on Europe, since all my foundational grammar stuff was weirdly largely British English stuff through IB (based in Wales then Geneva).

    I said people already used it and that it sounds usual and not strange. I just said it's technically plural. So I wasn't sure which people meant when they said you should use they in singular.
     
  13. JoinTheSchwarz

    JoinTheSchwarz JC Head Admin & Community Manager star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2002
    lol that should have been "not specifically you", not "note: specifically you".
     
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  14. TrakNar

    TrakNar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2011
    My native language is English and I've used they/them as gender neutral pronouns for years, usually in conjunction with "one." One can easily use they to describe themselves while remaining singular.
     
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  15. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Lol.

    But really, I'm only trying to ascertain... Do nonbinary people prefer "they is" or "they are". I always assumed it was the latter.
     
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  16. TrakNar

    TrakNar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2011
    "They are" is grammatically correct.
     
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  17. epic

    epic Ex Mod star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 4, 1999
    'They is' doesn't make any sense at all

    I use 'they' when describing an individual person within my reports at work, mainly because using he or she just seems very way too informal.
     
  18. mrsvos

    mrsvos Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 18, 2005
    This is great dialogue. Even though the members here may differ a bit by a generation, can't we agree that most of us were raised to be 'difference blind'? I was born into a time hyper focused on intergration, which I feel robbed many of us of a natural curiosity why differences exist.
    The gender equality issue is actually a hot button topic in the pagan community. Yes, even among the folks considered so open mined. We often say 'don't be so open minded your brain falls out'. But to quote one of my most admired authors and teachers " How do we humans balance inclusion and diversity without turning into a homogeneous melting pot or actively practicing discrimination? If I believe that the cosmosphere needs diversity, how do we foster a healthy diversity, rather than a divergence that tears us apart?"
     
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  19. LostOnHoth

    LostOnHoth Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2000
    It's really going to be a matter of not educating people to assign meaning to gender labels, which also involves completely abolishing 'traditional' gender stereotypes. Back in the days when homosexuality was less socially accepted than it is now, the label 'homosexual' was basically code for deviant and the stereotype assigned to all homosexual men, for example, was that they were all rampant promiscuous sexual perverts and homosexual women were all butch ball breakers. Society has come a long way in this regard but not for transgender people who still suffer the label of "freak".

    That is slowly changing though and things like having a character like Sophia on such a big hit like OITNB is doing great things to dispel the "freak" label which us just so dehumanising. If we didn't have to suffer social conservatism which labels anyone who is in any way out of the box as abominations of god then the process of social acceptance would be so much quicker.
     
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  20. JoinTheSchwarz

    JoinTheSchwarz JC Head Admin & Community Manager star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Oh dammit, I totally misread your post. My apologies.
     
  21. dp4m

    dp4m Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2001

    Interestingly, I have this problem at work all the time since I deal with a LOT of Indians, Chinese, and other Asian nationalities for whom -- not seeing them -- and just getting a name, I am unsure which gender to refer to.
     
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  22. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Racist.
     
  23. Penguinator

    Penguinator Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 23, 2005
    The singular "they" was named Word of the Year recently. It's also totally fine, grammatically speaking. I love nerding out over grammar but I don't think my pedantry should trump anyone's right to identify the way they do.
     
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  24. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015

    I've met a few. They refer to themselves as agender or neutrois. http://neutrois.com/
     
  25. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    I guess my follow-up question now that we've sorted out the pronoun thing is... How, then, do nonbinary people deal with things that require them to choose male or female? I'm sure there are many examples, but the one that comes to mind most readily is restrooms.

    Obviously a trans man or woman is going to choose the restroom assigned to their gender, but what does a nonbinary person do? And furthermore, how can society reconcile this issue? Is the answer that there should be no gender labels on bathrooms at all, or something else?

    And on a further complicated note... I listened to I believe an episode of Radiolab earlier this year about a person who considered themselves (yay, I Englished!) both male and female. But it was an unusual situation (hence the interview) because they said rather than feeling in the middle of a scale of gender, they would switch between being entirely male and entirely female. This happened during the interview itself. And they're not two separate personalities or anything... His or her gender switched without warning.

    Radiolab presented this as an unusual case that psychologists weren't sure about. Is this actually a rare thing or no?

    Yeah, as I said, English sucks. The French use "on" constantly for both singular (one) and plural (we), but we've got nothing quite equivalent. That would certainly help. It also conjugates the exact same as "il" or "elle", which is not the same for the English "they". Stupid English.

    I will never forgive, and I will never forget [face_plain]

    Right, but as mentioned, I wasn't trying to nitpick the grammar of it for its own pedantic sake. Merely trying to clarify what was meant by "singular they". Just trying to sort out if it meant "they, but used with the singular verbs you'd use with he/she" OR "they, with the usual plural verbs but referring only to one person".

    And it's been clarified that it's the latter, so I'm satisfied.