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Pronoun Table

Subject PronounObject PronounPossessive Adjective
(Determiner)
Possessive PronounReflexive or Intensive Pronoun
He/himhehimhishishimself
She/hersheherherhersherself
They/themtheythemtheirtheirsthemself/theirself
Xe/Xemxe
(“zee”)
xem
(“zem”)
xyr
(“zer”)
xyrs
(“zers”)
xemself
(“zemself”)
Ze/Hirze
(“zee”)
hir
(“hear”)
hir
(“hear”)
hirs
(“hears”)
hirself
(“hear-self”)
Ze/Zirzer
(“zee”)
zir
(“zeer”)
zir
(“zeer”)
zirs
(“zeers”)
zirself
(“zeer-self”)

He/Him

  • he (“he will be marching in the Pride Parade tomorrow”) [subject pronoun]
  • him (“that Pride Flag belongs to him”) [object pronoun]
  • his (“his sense of style is remarkable”) [possessive adjective]
  • his (“that Pride Flag is his”) [possessive pronoun]
  • himself (“Jay dance by himself”) [reflexive pronoun]

She/Her

  • she (“she will be marching in the Pride Parade tomorrow”) [subject pronoun]
  • her (“that Pride Flag belongs to her”) [object pronoun]
  • her (“her sense of style is remarkable”) [possessive adjective]
  • hers (“that Pride Flag is hers”) [possessive pronoun]
  • herself (“Jay dance by herself”) [reflexive pronoun]

They/Them

  • they (“they will be marching in the Pride Parade tomorrow”) [subject pronoun]
  • them (“that Pride Flag belongs to them”) [object pronoun]
  • their (“their sense of style is remarkable”) [possessive adjective]
  • theirs (“that Pride Flag is theirs”) [possessive pronoun]
  • themself/theirself (“Jay dance by themself/theirself”) [reflexive pronoun]

Neopronouns

Neopronouns literally means “new pronouns” – and they are pronouns that are distinct and different to the “traditional” pronouns, such as he/him, she/her, and they/them (and they are marked in italics in the above pronoun table). Most often, when people use neopronouns, they will also accept another set of traditional pronouns (commonly they/them). Realistically, nobody is expected to learn and know the whole array of neopronouns (even those who use neopronouns themselves), but taking the time to learn them for someone you know is a simple and meaningful gesture.

A few of the neopronouns are listed below:

Xe/Xem

  • xe (“xe will be marching in the Pride Parade tomorrow”) [subject pronoun]
  • xem (“that Pride Flag belongs to xem”) [object pronoun]
  • xyr (“xyr sense of style is remarkable”) [possessive adjective]
  • xyrs (“that Pride Flag is xyrs”) [possessive pronoun]
  • xemself (“Jay dance by xemself”) [reflexive pronoun]

Ze/Hir

  • ze (“ze will be marching in the Pride Parade tomorrow”) [subject pronoun]
  • hir (“that Pride Flag belongs to hir”) [object pronoun]
  • hir (“hir sense of style is remarkable”) [possessive adjective]
  • hirs (“that Pride Flag is hirs”) [possessive pronoun]
  • hirself (“Jay dance by hirself”) [reflexive pronoun]

Ze/Zir

  • ze (“ze will be marching in the Pride Parade tomorrow”) [subject pronoun]
  • zir (“that Pride Flag belongs to zir”) [object pronoun]
  • zir (“zir sense of style is remarkable”) [possessive adjective]
  • zirs (“that Pride Flag is zirs”) [possessive pronoun]
  • zirself (“Jay dance by zirself”) [reflexive pronoun]

FAQ

Q. I have seen some people write “they/them she/her”, or a combination of different pronouns. What does that mean?

A. This means that an individual will primarily use one set of pronouns (typically the ones written first – in the above example, they/them), but that the second set of pronouns are acceptable too (as per the example – she/her).

Q. Is it true that some people have fluid pronouns?

A. Yes! This is typically the case with genderfluid or cross-dressing individuals, who find that their gender identity is more fluid (dynamic) than static. Such individuals may prefer a certain set of pronouns when they present their gender a certain way (e.g. using she/her pronouns when dressed in a more feminine fashion, he/him pronouns when dressed more in a more masculine way), or they may wear a pronoun badge to let others know the pronouns they prefer.

There are, of course, other examples of this within the Queer community – for example, Drag Queens may go by she/her pronouns when they are in their Drag personas, but out of Drag, go by he/him pronouns (or, of course, they/them pronouns). People in the Queer community have been doing this for decades and decades!

Q. Can you not have a pronoun preference?

A. Absolutely. If you’re happy to be referred to by any pronouns, it’s okay to say so! For other people that are asking for your pronouns, this can be a bit challenging of course, as they’ll most likely be anxious that they’ll be picking the right ones!

Q. Isn’t “they/them” used plurally, not singularly?

A. Whilst it’s certainly true that they/them is used plurally (e.g. “they went to the shop, and they each got a ice-cream”), the singular they has been used for just as long and isn’t anything new: for example, “somebody has left their phone here, they’ll probably need it”.

Regardless, language has always changed and evolved – so whatever the case may be, language is allowed to change (after all, that’s what happened with the words queer, gay, and lesbian – all of which had different meanings two hundred years ago.)

Q. What is the best way to learn pronouns?

A. Practice! The vast majority of the time, people that have preferred pronouns will appreciate the effort and won’t expect you to get it right immediately. You can practice at home (for example, by singing along to songs and changing the pronouns, or rehearsing conversations at home), but also, do not let inexperience stop you from trying. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it, change it, and continue.

Q. I’m finding using they/them (or other pronouns) hard, am I bad person?

A. If you’re genuinely trying, no! We are conditioned in society to associate and use pronouns a certain way, and to assume gender and pronouns – and social conditioning can be hard to shake off! It takes practice to form a habit, and essentially, using pronouns are habits we learn. Be patient with yourself, and don’t give up. Learning someone’s preferred pronouns and becoming fluent in using them is a small, but simple gesture that can mean a lot.