No preferred pronouns.

All language choices are political. I honour others’ pronoun preferences. I support and applaud the courage of my non-cis and non-binary friends and colleagues who struggle for greater social and legal recognition and who call out injustice, oppression and lack of equality. (For info on personal pronouns see My support for others’ pronoun preferences leads me to set my privacy aside in order to write this, and to prefer this honest answer to a facile one.

Because I present as cis-male, it would be easy to show my respect by saying “he/him/his” – an easy 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. I honestly don’t care. (My favourite personal pronoun is você – “you” in Portuguese. I find Brazilian social relations more comfortable.)

In part my non-preference 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 tend to skip contributing to “my” public images. I would prefer that others not speak of me at all. Utopia resounds with comfortable silences. (When I read that all voices are acousmatic, bridging/negating an essential causal/intentional gap, I hear an echo of my social tactics.)

So, to the extent that I can influence your thoughts and actions on this matter, I respectfully decline to do so. Assume what you will. If you choose to talk about me to others, you can use my name – I prefer “Steven” – or you can use whatever pronouns best help you say what you want.