Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gender neutral pronouns ~Sevan

A person who identifies outside of the male/female binary wants to be identified just as women and men want to be identified. They want to be seen and heard as they are, for the gender they are. There are options out there that are "neutral" (They, One, Person, etc) but for the words I've provided I've never heard of options that are specifically for those outside the binary. I suppose the title "gender neutral" is misleading. Now that I think about it. What I was/am looking to provide is words for those who identify outside the male/female binary. Which actually isn't neutral at all.

A while back...a few years ago I believe...I talked about gender neutral terms. I was only able to tell you about another option in place of he/she which is "ze" (I should mention...there are many sets. There are also a number of folks who don't dig any of the pronouns sets...and that's ok.) and the replacement for his/hers which is "hir" (pronounced "hear")

That's it. That's all we could say. That's all there was. However...looking at language there are so many other gendered words that only having these two words...left MUCH to be desired. Anywhere I've looked I've never seen anyone discuss any words beyond he/she and his/hers. There are SO many more gendered words that we need in order to flesh out our language. Thankfully English is pretty flexible...slang is always coming into "vogue" (and often right back out of vogue....) I feel like...when words can come in, and flow, and click...they can find they're way into our natural speak.

Cyndi and I have set about to find, or create words to open up the language so that it's more function, usable and accessible. So I present the current list to you. After's not really me who uses these I don't talk about myself in third person. It's for others. For you...perhaps. This list is not complete, and as I said...we actually created some of these it's no professional linguist bringing this to you. :)

In searching I found Per which is short for person. It would go in place of he/she. So you could say "Oh yea, that's Sevan. Per's cool." (if you were to use that set. Cyndi and I have been playing with's an option.)

I think the reasons people have strong feeling about it is because it's new. No one ever questions he/she because we learned t at such a young age we didn't question it, or any other words we learned. That's just the words. That's just what those words mean. It just is, and we accept that. These new words are for scrutiny because they're new.

I have no real illusions of changing the world. I've seen blogs, forum posts and many many people trying to discourage me for a number of reasons from creating or seeking words to support and represent those outside male/female binary. I get it. There are MANY reasons these words may never ever take off. I'm ok with that. I just want to add to the conversation. I want to be able to express myself, and have those around me express and talk about me in ways that are supportive and positive...and correct. Labeling me female is not right. That's not what/who I am. I am an androgyn and the language should support that. While I'd love for our language to just not be gender based but....THAT'S not gonna happen. So...even if my circle of peers is the only people who use these words I'm offering...fine. That's fine with me. However...if these words are found by someone else, and gives them language to express themselves in a positive way...that's AWESOME!

The first one I really like is boy/girl/nute. Nute being short for neutral. Cyndi came up with it, and the main reason why we found it important is to fit into boyfriend/girlfriend/nutefriend. Generally you don't find children expressing androgyn or third gender identity. Teens however and young adults in relationships who might desire a word for their significant other...there ya have it!

I've got a friend who really likes to call people Sir/Ma'am and I have stumped her. So we came up with Mir. It's a simple mash of Sir and Ma'am. Many of the words we've come up with are mashes of the male and female words.

Such as Hersband, in place of husband/wife. Hers-band. :)

Still don't have one for the Father/Mother...but I really like Mada in place of Mom/Dad.

Brother/Sister Bro-ster. This one actually came from Cyndi's brother who was struggling with the transition early on and just couldn't make the leap in his mind that Cyndi was now his sister. We hear that and immediately had a word for those in between.

One word I badly want is a word in place of Uncle/Aunt but...I don't have one. Niece/Nephew and Grandma/Grandpa replacements aren't as important to me personally...but I'd like to have them just to complete the set. I'm sure there are words I'm missing but this is the list as it stands so far. :)

Male Female Androgyn/3rd gender/Null
He She Ze/Per
His Her(s) Hir(s)/Pers
Boy Girl Nute
Sir Ma'am Mir
Mr. Mrs. Mir
Husband Wife Hersband
Boyfriend Girlfriend Nutefriend/Ladydudefriend
Father Mother ?
Dad Mom Mada
Brother Sister Broster
Uncle Aunt ?
Nephew Niece ?
Grandpa Grandma ?


Sevan said...

Anonymous troll got hir panties in a wad.

Unknown said...

Aids infested....

Hmmm, Maybe I should check on my HAART regimine and make sure it is doing its job.

I was under the impression that once I had my viral load under control I wouldn't have to worry about the AIDS part...
Damn, suck to be me.

Guess what internet troll....
There is not a single blessed thing you can say that will make this blog go away.
There is not a single blessed thing you can do to make Sevan stop being androgyn.
There is not a single blessed thing you can do to hurt this family in any way.

We are a solid couple that is in love with eachother madly. We have true love that beats all odds.
Something I would wager that you will never truely know.

Eagerly awaiting the next Troll coment.
(well they do have a tendancy to make me laugh...)

Julian said...

Ahaha, ladydudefriend. :D

Anonymous said...

yeah you have a busy troll here...
i'm the nice Anon I promise! lol Either way... while "pro" is a goodie in its origins i think i still like "ze" better and shall continue using it... <3

Anonymous said...

er... i meant "per" ><

Sage said...

To group in with nutefriend and ladydudefriend, a friend of mine introduced to me to "starfriend", which came from *friend, the "*" comes from "trans*" and I have decided that "starfriend" really fits.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! Love it. I like Ze better than Per. I love Mada. Just a few off the top of my head:

Mom/Dad: Dama
Grandma/Grandpa: Grammy/Gram/ -or- GramPopMa

For Brother/Sister Kute (Prounced KU-ET-AY). This is portmanteau of the Tagalog words Kuya (a term of respect used to address your brother) and Ate (A term of respect used to address your Sister). I first heard this used used in the Phillippine TV show Be Careful With My Heart by one of the main characters to address to their Androgenous sibling.

Hope that Helps. LadyDudeFriend just makes me smile!