This ‘They’ series entry is meant for teaching the kids in the lives of Nonbinary folks!
This is for children, siblings, cousins, and friends!
Let’s start with the basics:
In school, we learn about boy and girl, men and women. We learn that we are assigned one of these categories at birth based on our body and that typically, it isn’t changed.
Some people are ‘cisgender’ people, meaning that they feel like the gender they were assigned at birth. But there are a lot of people who don’t feel like the gender they were assigned at birth. This usually means that they are transgender. Transgender folks can be assigned boy but feel like a girl, or assigned girl and feel like a boy, or, assigned girl or boy and feel like neither.
Neither is where Nonbinary comes in. A Nonbinary person is someone who doesn’t feel all the time like a girl or a boy. They feel either no gender (Agender), a third gender, multiple genders (Multigender), or even a mix between girl and boy. They are outside of the Gender Binary of strictly girl or boy.
Typically, the nonbinary person in your life will use the pronoun ‘They’. But what are pronouns, and how are they used?
Here are some pronouns you’ll be taught in school:
She, He, They
Hers, His, Theirs
She is, He is, They are
‘She’ typically refers to someone who feels like a girl or on a Feminine spectrum.
‘He’ typically refers to someone who feels like a boy or on a Masculine spectrum.
‘They’ can refer to a group of people, but is also used to refer to someone who feels like neither boy or girl, or on the spectrum between masculine, feminine, and nonbinary.
‘They’ is very important to your nonbinary person, and they will appreciate you using it for them.
How do you use it? Here are some examples:
- I love their shirt.
- They are really fun to be around!
- They can’t tag me!
- I love playing with them.
- Ask them if they want a snack.
It’s really easy to use ‘They’ for someone once you use it often!
In future conversations, when you’re meeting someone for the first time, it’s also polite to ask for their pronouns so that you know what they like to be called. People could also have two or more pronouns as they identify with multiple genders, so just ask them which one they would like you to use.
Try not to assume someone’s pronouns, it can be considered rude and a lot of people might express a certain type of gender, but they might not be who you think. So it’s always nice to ask!
Using ‘They’ until you know someone’s pronouns is appropriate because it is a neutral pronoun, used for anyone whose gender you do not know.
Don’t worry too much about messing up someone’s pronouns. As long as you are being respectful in trying to use their pronouns, they will be grateful for it!
The nonbinary person in your life loves you as you are, and knows you love them and support them in their gender quest!
Transgender: When someone is a different gender than the one they were assigned at birth.
Nonbinary: Being neither girl or boy, feeling both binary genders, in between binary genders, third gender, or no gender.
Gender Binary: The gender categories of girl or boy, woman or man.
They: In this article’s context, the pronoun typically used for Nonbinary people.
Feminine Spectrum: The feeling that you feel sometimes or all the time, closer to the ‘girl’ side of the gender spectrum.
Masculine Spectrum: The feeling that you feel sometimes or all the time, closer to the ‘boy’ side of the gender spectrum.
No Gender or Agender: Feeling void of gender, of having no gender, or neutral gender.
Third Gender: Feeling a completely different gender than a girl or boy.
Multigender: Feeling multiple genders at once.
Thanks for Reading! Now go out there and use ‘They’ often!
Featured Image: Broadly-Vice