The need for gender neutral third person singular English pronouns has been apparent and tried since the birth of its modern form.
True Neutral PronounsEdit
True neutral pronouns are pronouns that can be applied to any person regardless of gender. Most pronouns in use by the trans/nonbinary community are not neutral, and could be considered nonbinary pronouns instead, as they are gendered as such.
One truly neutral pronoun in use is singular they/them. This pronoun, while debated by linguistic purists, has been in use since at least Shakespeare's time. It is most commonly used to refer to a person whose gender is not known, for example, "Someone is at the door, I wonder who they are."
It is widespread etiquette within trans communities to use singular they until a person's pronouns are known. From that point on, if the person's pronouns are not singular they, it would be misgendering to refer to them as such.
While the pronoun "one" is traditionally an indefinite pronoun, roughly meaning "a person" and is thus gender neutral. With the need for new pronouns, it has been adapted by many as a third person singular pronoun, changing it to be specific and definite. This pronoun is one of only a handful of pronouns in use by trans/nonbinary people that is truly gender neutral.
Another truly neutral pronoun is "it". While "it" is typically used to refer to objects or animals, there are a handful of trans/nonbinary people who feel most comfortable using these than any other pronoun. Others find this pronoun used as a personal set to be dehumanizing and indignate.
Pronoun neologisms are the norm among trans/nonbinary communities. While many of the pronouns in use may be decades old, such as Spivak, Elverson, MacKay, or humanist pronouns, while others could have been invented within five minutes of this article's creation.
Common nonbinary pronouns are:
A recent and controversial move among nonbinary people is to create pronouns that are based off nouns, such as creatures or objects or natural occurrences like storms and outer space.
There are an abundance of these created pronouns, and such is ever growing. Many trans and nonbinary feel that this phenomenon is harmful to their communities and movements, stating that they will prevent cisgender people from taking them seriously. Still others says that these pronouns are well deserved, that after all they go through, new and fun pronouns are their right, and so is feeling safe and comfortable, a primary concern with all nonbinary pronouns.
Some common noun-based pronouns are:
Common themes among noun-based pronouns are:
- mythical creatures
- earthly animals
- weather or storms
- outer space and stars