Matthew’s Place
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Matthew’s Place

How to Use Pronouns

by Emil Tinkler

Pronouns! These suckers are a pretty hot issue at the moment for the trans community. Whether it’s cisgender people not wanting to use our pronouns or even other trans people who believe that neo-pronouns are too hard to use everyone’s got an opinion. My opinion is that we should use peoples preferred pronouns regardless of if we “think those pronouns” are too hard to use because it is never too hard to respect someone else’s identity and to just be respectful in general. However, there can be an issue with knowing how to use them properly in a sentence and that’s totally valid. To help with some of this confusion I will start by sharing how to pronounce and use traditional pronouns such as She/Him and move into neo-pronouns like Em/Fae/Ze.


My friends name is Cedar. He is a Psychology major. I met him in one of my classes at school. His favorite movie is Ratatouille because he loves Disney. I like Cedar because he is always himself.


My mom’s name is Trista. She is an amazing cook. I love her very much and we are very close. My favorite thing to do with her is watch movies but hers is cooking. My mom is an introvert so sometimes she likes to keep to herself.


My sibling’s name is Alicia. We aren’t biologically related, but I am very close to them, so they are my family. Their favorite colors are maroon and army green. Sometimes they have a hard time being themselves because of their family so our friends and I always try to support them.


My coworkers name is Jaq. Fae is very nice. I only just recently met faer but I do know that faers also new at this job so we both agreed to help each other out. One time when it was slow at work fae went back into the kitchen and made faerself some lunch.


My professors name is Erin. Ey teaches interpersonal communication. Eir class is fairly easy so far. I have had to message em a few times but ey respond quickly. At the beginning of the semester ey shared a lot about eirself with us so we could get to know em better.


In middle and high school, I had a good friend named Briana. Xe and I were close and used to hang out a lot. I met xem when we were in about the fifth grade. I always thought xyr were so cool because xe played the guitar. Xe was always seemed confident in xemself which I always admired.


My boyfriends name is Andrew. I met aer at a conference. Ae and I are very close, and we enjoy playing video games together. Aers current favorite game is Skyrim and I love to watch aer play. Ae have always stood up for aerself and what ae believes in which inspires me to do the same.


My sibling’s partners name is Brian. They just started dating a few months ago so I just recently met hir. Ze is very tall and is also really friendly and funny. Hirs kitten is very cute and I love to play with her. Ze lives by hirself so the kitten keeps hir company when ze is alone.

No Pronouns

My name is James and I don’t use pronouns. When people talk about me, I ask that they just use my name. James favorite color is pink, and James is also a fan of purple too. James likes to watch movies with James partner and together they have seen almost every Pixar movie. James has a hard time being open about James’ preferred pronouns, but James does James best.

While these are certainly not all the pronouns people use this is a small list of some common and uncommon ones and how to properly use them. Hopefully this was helpful, and you can always try to use this as a template for any other sets of pronouns you may come across. However, if you are ever unsure you can always ask! Asking for one’s preferred pronouns is becoming more and more common so if you are ever unsure about how to use someone’s pronouns you can always ask them. I think most of us would rather take a second or two to explain ourselves than be misgendered by the use of pronouns we do not identify with.

About the Author:

Emil Tinkler is a 21 year old college student living in Central Florida. Emil is a gay trans masc person, but doesn’t use pronouns at the moment. Emil is a psychology major and a humanities minor. Emil wants to be a therapist one day and help trans kids access medical care, and loves Harry Potter, Bad Suns, and LGBTQ activism. Emil was Vice President of the LGBTQ group on Emil’s campus for a year, and will continue to keep activism close to Emil’s heart in everything Emil does.



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