No preferred pronouns.

I have thought long and hard about this important issue. All language choices are political. I honour others’ pronoun preferences. I support and applaud the courage of my non-cis and non-binary colleagues and friends who struggle for greater social and legal recognition.

Because I present as cis-male, it would be easy to show my respect and support for others’ neopronoun preferences by saying “he/him/his.” Easy – and a lie – so not very respectful. It truly does not matter to me what pronouns others use to refer to me when I am not part of the conversation. In part this is a refraction of privilege: I present at the lowest energy point of the landscape; I need expend no energy to assert or maintain that position. But there is a deeper issue.

As a shy, retiring person, I feel uncomfortable publicly sharing or identifying many dimensions of my personal identity. My preference would be that others do not talk about me at all, but that makes no sense. (My favourite pronoun is você – “you” in Portuguese – Brazilian social relations are so much more comfortable.) I tend to avoid participating in the construction of the reduced, redacted and distorted portrayals and projections that serve as public images of me. In this case, my privacy matters more than others’ pronouns use when referring to me. Assume what you will. However, my support for others’ pronoun preferences leads me to set my privacy aside in order to make this public statement – and to move past the easy answer to this honest one.

If you choose to talk about me to others, use whatever pronouns best help you say what you want to say. These are all fine: ae/aer/aer(s)s, e(y)/em/eir(s), fae/faer/faer(s), he/him/his, ne/nem/nir(s), per/per/per(s), she/her/her(s), sie/hir/hir(s), they/them/their(s), ve/ver/vis, xe/xem/xyr(s), ze/zem/zer(s), ze/zir/zir(s).