He Said, She Said, They Said: The Importance of Pronouns

He said, she said, they said, ze said, xe said, it said, I said, we said, whoever said what they said when they said it, must be addressed properly by the pronoun that they, ze, xe use for identification. Most people tend to judge a person’s gender by their own assumption of biological sex based on physical appearance. However, that is not the best way to identify other human beings.

Let’s start with the a basic understanding: There is a difference between gender and sex. If you don’t know the difference, then you’re about to get educated. “Gender” is how you identify yourself, whether it is masculine, feminine, non-binary or gender fluid. “Sex” is based on your biological, reproductive organs: male = penis and female = vagina + enlarged breasts.With that in mind, my word of advice to you is, “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover.” Don’t ever assume someone’s gender based on their physical appearance or their performance of gender norms. Wardrobe is a part of the performative nature of gender along with hairstyle, pitch in voice (low or high), accessories and makeup. These are just some illustrations of how fluid gender can be and how it can change with a switch of an element at anytime.

If an individual, especially a member of the LGBT community, tells you that they would like to be identified with a different name than what’s on their birth certificate, by a specific gender, or a preferred pronoun (he, she, they, ze, it) you have to respect that. It’s not optional. It’s required. Why? Well, let’s look at this from a heteronormative perspective, if you are a cisgender male, which is a straight man who identifies as a male, would you be okay with being called “she” instead of “he” all the time?… Take a moment to think about that, if you even need a moment. I’m pretty sure your answer is “no,” right? Yeah I know, that’s exactly my point. So, don’t do it to other people.

The importance of using the appropriate pronouns is to establish a social norm in society, where heterosexuals can respect homosexuals for being themselves and vice versa. We all want to live in a nation that embodies and lives equality of the human race, regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, etc. In conclusion, gender is performative and sex is what you’re born with biologically. It is important to respect and treat others how you would like to be respected and treated to create a safe, livable space for all who inhabit it. “We’re all born naked and the rest is drag!”

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