Wait, your pronouns?
Yes. My preferred pronouns are they/them/their, and I use Mx. (pronounced “mix”) as my honorific. If you’re referring to me in the third person, I’d ask you to those. In practice, that looks like: “they said they really enjoyed the talk,” “Kendra was concerned about the default judgment,” or “they’re going to join us after they finish the client call.” (I’ve found that it’s easier for folks to use plural verbs rather saying something like “they is”, and I don’t care much either way.) If you want to use an honorific: “Mx. Albert suggested that the third party doctrine should be abolished.”
I’m a nonbinary person! Traditional binary categories of gender (male and female) don’t correspond with how I feel about myself. Because of that, I’ve chosen a pronoun appropriate to my gender identity. It’s worth noting that gender identity and expression don’t necessarily always match. So if you meet me in person, don’t be surprised if I don’t dress in a way that leads you to think “that person is non-binary.”
Do you actually expect people to use “them”?
I would strongly prefer if people use my pronouns. For people who worry about the decline of the English language, I hope that folks prioritize my express wishes to use gender-neutral pronouns over the arbitrary concept of grammar. If the tradition-steeped professors at Harvard Law School can learn to use the right pronouns, so can you. :)
What if someone screws up?
It happens. But it’s important to me that people make an effort. To me, someone using the wrong pronouns is jarring. I notice every time, and it makes me uncomfortable. [Note: not all trans or nonbinary people feel that way - some people don’t care, some people care deeply and misgendering can be actively triggering. I can’t speak for anyone but myself.]
Woah, I’ve never heard about any of this before! I’d like to learn more about pronouns and treating trans people respectfully.
Awesome, I’m glad! This is a good video on what non-binary gender can be and how many genders there are. This blog post from the ACLU of Northern California talks about how they have integrated prounoun usage into their more general practices.
If you work in technology policy or law and you’d like to talk about how to make your work more inclusive of non-binary people, feel free to contact me. Depending on the context, I may ask for monetary compensation.
Bottom line: Yes, I would strongly prefer for people to use they/them as my pronouns. I am a real human with preferences about how people refer to me. Thanks!