English neutral pronouns

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Most used neutral pronouns
  1. They/them (77.4%)
  2. Xe/xem (7.4%)
  3. E/em (5.3%)
  4. Ze/hir (5.3%)
  5. Fae/faer (3.9%)
  6. Ey/em (0.3%)

Data provided by the 2018 Gender Census.[1]

English neutral pronouns are an ongoing problem in this language. This is a best known as a matter of concern not only when writing documents that need to use inclusive language. It's also of concern for any nonbinary people who prefer not to have their pronouns imply that they are female or male. As shown in surveys, many nonbinary people are okay with being called "he" or "she," but there are also many nonbinary people who don't want to be called by either of these. The surveys show that the most popular gender-neutral pronoun for nonbinary people is singular they, but nearly as many prefer or accept some other neutral pronoun. See examples of this in pronouns in use for nonbinary people.

History[edit | edit source]

In English, people are usually called by a pronoun that implies their gender. For example, she for women, and he for men. The use of singular they as a gender-neutral pronoun has been documented as standard usage in English throughout the past thousand years. However, prescriptive grammarians in the late eighteenth century decided that it was bad grammar, because it works like a plural, and because it isn't done in Latin.[2]

Prescriptive grammarians of the late eighteenth century instead recommended using "he" as a gender-neutral pronoun when one is needed, instead of "singular they."[3] However, "gender-neutral he" results in writings that are unclear about whether they mean only men or not, which makes problems in law.[4]

Seeking a solution to the problem of a lack of a gender-neutral pronoun in English that satisfies all needs, people since the mid nineteenth century have proposed many new gender-neutral singular pronouns.[5] For example, sie, Spivak pronouns, and others. None of these new words (neologisms) have become standard use or adopted into books of English grammar. However, some sets of these neologistic pronouns have seen use for real people with nonbinary gender identities, and for characters in fiction. These neologisms are the main topic explored in this article.

Regional nominative pronouns[edit | edit source]

There have been some native English dialects that have their own gender-neutral pronouns, such as a, ou, and yo. These are often regional. One curious thing that a, ou, and yo all have in common is that they have only been recorded in their nominative form. It's possible that these three sets of pronouns may not actually have other forms (possessive, reflexive, etc). For this reason, these three sets of native English pronouns are listed separately from the other pronouns on this page that have complete forms. Although it's easy to make up more forms for these pronouns (such as inventing "ouself"), this is not what linguists have recorded in use.

A[edit | edit source]

A (nominative form only). "In 1789, William H. Marshall records […] Middle English epicene ‘a’, used by the 14th century English writer John of Trevisa, and both the OED and Wright's English Dialect Dictionary confirm the use of ‘a’ for he, she, it, they, and even I. This ‘a’ is a reduced form of the Anglo-Saxon he = ‘he’ and heo = ‘she’.” Source: Baron, Dennis (1986). Grammar and Gender. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-03526-8. as cited by: Williams, John (1990s)." [6] Some living British dialects still use the gender-neutral "a" pronoun.[7]

Ou[edit | edit source]

Ou (nominative form only) was first recorded in a native English dialect the sixteenth century. "In 1789, William H. Marshall records the existence of a dialectal English epicene pronoun, singular ou: '"Ou will" expresses either he will, she will, or it will.' Marshall traces ou to Middle English epicene a, used by the fourteenth-century English writer John of Trevisa, and both the OED and Wright's English Dialect Dictionary confirm the use of a for he, she, it, they, and even I." In K. A. Cook's short story "The Differently Animated and Queer Society," the queer character Moon asks to be called by "ou" pronouns.[8]

Yo[edit | edit source]

Yo (nominative form only). In addition to an interjection and greeting, "yo" is a gender-neutral pronoun in a dialect of African-American Vernacular English spoken by middle school students in Baltimore, Maryland, the student body of which is 97% African-American. These students had spontaneously created the pronoun as early as 2004, and commonly used it. A study by Stotko and Troyer in 2007 examined this pronoun. The speakers used "yo" only for same-age peers, not adults or authorities. They thought of it as a slang word that was informal, but they also thought if it as just as acceptable as "he" or "she". "Yo" was used for people whose gender was unknown, as well as for specific people whose gender was known, often while using a pointing gesture at the person in question. The researchers collected examples of the word in use, such as "yo threw a thumbtack at me," "you acting like I said what yo said," and "she ain't really go with yo." The researchers only collected examples of "yo" used in the nominative form. That is, they found no possessive forms such as "yo's," and no reflexive forms such as "yoself." As such, "yo" pronouns might be used only in nominative form, similar to another native English gender-neutral pronoun, "a." Either that, or these forms exist, and the researchers just didn't collect them.[9][10]

The list[edit | edit source]

This list is of third-person singular pronouns in English. Some are "new" pronouns, and others have been in use for over a hundred years.

Please feel free to add more, though note that if you don't provide citations for notability or include all five forms your entry may be moved to the talk page or be removed entirely. List pronoun sets in alphabetical order by their nominative form, or by the name of the set.

*e (splat pronouns)[edit | edit source]

*e, h*, h*s, h*s, h*self (this was the exact set used in LambdaMOO).[11][12] Called "splat pronouns," because the asterisk symbol is also called a "splat," these all use an asterisk to represent ambiguity between "he" and "she."

Usage:

Some software and Internet resources in the 1990s used them informally as gender-neutral pronouns. The multi-user online environment LambdaMOO offered these "splat" pronouns in addition to "Spivak" pronouns. In 2002, 10 out of 4061 people on LambdaMOO had chosen to use splat pronouns for themselves.[13] However, splat pronouns didn't make any appearance in the 2015 or 2016 Nonbinary Stats surveys.

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke *e laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug h*.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, h*s hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow h*s.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds h*self.

On Pronoun Island: [http://pronoun.is/*e/h*/h*s/h*s/h*self http://pronoun.is/*e/h*/h*s/h*s/h*self

Alternating pronouns[edit | edit source]

he, her, his, herself (for one of many possible examples). Instead of using an alternative or neutral pronoun set, some people prefer an alternation between the binary-gendered sets. Justice Ginsburg is in favor of alternating "he" and "she" pronouns to make legal documents gender-inclusive.[3]

Use in fiction: In K. A. Cook's short story "Blue Paint, Chocolate and Other Similes," in Crooked Words, most of the story involves the narrator Ben moving from one set of pronouns to another for Chris as he tries to figure out Chris's gender. When the narrator is trying to determine whether Chris is male or female, Ben alternates between thinking of Chris as he or she. Upon recognizing that Chris identifies as nonbinary, the narrator begins using ze pronouns for Chris. Then, Ben finally finds a good moment to ask for Chris's pronoun preference.[14]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell her a joke he laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet her I hug him.
  • Pronominal possessive: When he does not get a haircut, her hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If my mobile phone runs out of power, he lets me borrow hers.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds herself. or Each child feeds himself.

Usage: In the 2018 Gender Census, 13.8% of respondents chose "mix it up" both alone and in addition to other pronoun choices.[1]

Co[edit | edit source]

co, co, co's (cos), co's, coself. Mary Orovan created these in 1970, derived from the Indo-European *ko, as an inclusive alternative to "he or she."[15][16] In the pages about inclusive pronouns in the book Words and Women, authors Miller and Swift talk about this pronoun's origins, history, and contemporary usage:

"'Humanizing English,' an eight-page pamphlet first published in 1970, included [Mary] Orovan's proposed common gender pronoun co, which is now being used in everyday speech and writing by members of several alternative-life-style communities. Twin Oaks Community, a group of some sixty adults and children living in Louisa, Virginia, adopted Orovan's nonsexist grammatical form in 1972. The pronoun has since spread to other communities in Virginia and Missouri, is used in a book on radical therapy published in 1973 by Harper & Row, and it routinely replaces 'he or she' or 'he/she' in the magazine Communities,' which is addressed to cooperative-living groups across the country. Orovan derived co from the Indo-European root form ko, the common ancestor of both the masculine and feminine English pronouns. Co, with its suggestion of 'together,' is not used to replace either the masculine or feminine pronoun when applied to a specific individual, but only as an alternative to the unisex generic he. Twin Oaks' newsletter Leaves, for example, comments in an article on communal work undertaken by members, 'Vacations are indeed a burden for the remaining members, but everyone takes cos turn at carrying the burden.'"[17]

Today, "Co" is still used in some intentional communities, such as in the legal policies of Twin Oaks in Virginia, which provides information on the pronoun in its visitor guide web page.

Use by nonbinary people: In the 2018 Gender Census, only one respondent entered co/co/cos/cos/coself as cos favourite pronoun.[1]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke co laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug co.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, co's hair grows long. (Or cos hair grows.)
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow co's.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds coself.

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/co/co/co's/co's/coself

E[edit | edit source]

There are several very similar sets of pronouns with the nominative form of "E," which have been independently proposed or revived over the last hundred years.[18][15] The oldest of these is

E (Spivak pronouns)[edit | edit source]

E, Em, Eir, Eirs, Emself. These are sometimes called spivak pronouns. In 1990, Michael Spivak used them in his manual, The Joy of TeX, so that no person in his examples had a specified gender. These pronouns became well-known on the Internet because they were built into a popular multi-user chat, LambdaMOO, in 1991. Many users enjoyed choosing pronouns that didn't specify their gender. The pronouns then became a common feature of other multi-user chats made throughout the 1990s. Although many other variations have been attributed to Michael Spivak, this is the actual set Spivak used in The Joy of TeX in 1990 or 1991. Note that he always capitalized all forms of it, but not all users of these pronouns do so. [13] Spivak doesn't indicate whether he created these pronouns, or adopted or adapted them from somewhere else. Spivak is credited with having created these pronouns, although his book doesn't outright say that they're of his own creation. (Compare Elverson's ey pronouns, which are very similar, with only a small spelling difference in the nominative form.)

Use in real life and non-fiction:

  • When a programmer added this pronoun set to LambdaMOO in 1991, he used the same spelling as Spivak, but not capitalized.[19] Regarding LambdaMOO, John Costello wrote, "I know the wizard who originally included the spivak pronouns on the MOO. He says he did it just on a whim after having read the Joy of TeX — he never thought they'd acquire the sexual and political nimbus they have over the years."[13] LambdaMOO's "help spivak" command explains that these pronouns "were developed by mathematician Michael Spivak for use in his books."[20] Programmer Roger "Rog" Crew tested the LambdaMOO system by putting more pronoun options into it in May, 1991, including Spivak's set he remembered from The Joy of TeX. Crew didn't delete the pronouns after testing them, and later expressed "dismay" that the spivak pronouns became popular.[21][22]
  • Spivak pronouns became such a part of 1990s Internet culture that a handbook to that culture, Yib's Guide to Mooing (2003), uses spivak pronouns whenever speaking of a hypothetical person whose gender need not be specified.[23]
  • In Internet environments, spivak was categorized not only as a set of pronouns, but as a gender identity, which Thomas describes: "The spivak gender [...] is more representative of an emotional and intellectual state than of a physical configuration. It should be pointed out at the start that the sexuality available to a spivak is a bonus of online life, but it isn't the raison d'etre. Rather, it's a subtle notion of a gender-free condition. It's not androgynous. It's not unisexual. It's simply ambiguous."[24] Some self-described spivaks use spivak as a proper noun for their non-binary gender identity.

Use in fiction:

  • Steven Shaviro's theoretical fiction novel Doom Patrols (1995-1997) uses spivak pronouns at times.[25]
  • The English translation of Sayuri Ueda's science fiction novel The Cage of Zeus (2011) uses spivak pronouns for genetically engineered characters with non-dyadic bodies and non-binary gender.[26]

Use for real non-binary people:

  • In 1996, 74 out of 7064 users on LambdaMOO went by spivak pronouns, making it the second most popular nonbinary pronoun there.[27] In 2002, 108 out of 4061 users on LambdaMOO used spivak pronouns, making it the most popular neologistic pronoun set there.[13]
  • In 1996, 10 out of 1015 users on MediaMOO went by spivak pronouns, making these the second most popular nonbinary pronoun.[28]
  • The author Bogi "prezzey" Takács goes by spivak pronouns.[29]
  • In the 2018 Gender Census, 5.3% of participants were happy for people to use Spivak pronouns when referring to them.[1]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke E laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug Em.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, Eir hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow Eirs.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds Emself.

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/e

E (es)[edit | edit source]

e, em, es (e's), (e's), (not recorded). Created in 1890 by James Rogers of Crestview, Florida.[18][15] In about 1977, version where all forms starts with capital letters was independently "created by psychologist Donald G. MacKay of the University of California at Los Angeles."[15] In 1989, independently created by Victor J. Stone, Professor of Law.[15]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke e laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug em.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, es hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: (not recorded)
  • Reflexive: (not recorded)

Ey (Elverson pronouns)[edit | edit source]

ey, em, eir, eirs, emself. (Compare the spivak pronoun E, which is very similar, with only a small spelling difference in the nominative form.) Called the Elverson pronouns, these were "created by Christine M. Elverson of Skokie, Illinois, to win a contest in 1975. (Black, Judie, ‘Ey has a word for it’, 1975-08-23.). Promoted as preferable to other major contenders (sie, zie and singular ‘they’) by John Williams's Gender-neutral Pronoun FAQ (2004)."[30]

Use in real life and non-fiction:

  • The Elverson pronouns were used by Eric Klein in the Laws of Oceania, 1993, to be gender-inclusive in a nonfictional micronation. Sometimes this pronoun set is mistakenly called "spivak pronouns," which differ only in the nominative form.
  • In the 2018 Gender Census, about a 0.1% of participants were happy for people to use Elverson pronouns when referring to them - 13 people.[1]

Use in fiction:

  • CJ Carter's science fiction novel, Que Será Serees (2011) is about a species of people with a single gender, who are all called by Elverson's "ey" pronouns. Carter encourages other authors to use these gender-neutral pronouns.[31][32]
  • In K. A. Cook's short story "Misstery Man," the self-described non-binary character Darcy asks to be called by "ey and eir" pronouns.[33]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke ey laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug em.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, eir hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow eirs.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds emself.

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/ey

Fae[edit | edit source]

fae, faer, faer, faers, faerself. A fairy (faery, faerie, fey or Fair Folk) themed set created by Ciel (Tumblr user shadaras) in 2014 (or earlier?)[34] It may also have been independently coined earlier by someone else. This is the most commonly used nounself pronoun set, and it may have been created earlier than them. It may have been what inspired many people to create nounself pronouns in 2014. A similar fairy-themed set is fey, fey, feys, feys, feyself, which was recorded in 2014,[35] of unknown origin.

Usage:

  • In the 2018 Gender Census, 3.9% of participants were happy for people to use fae pronouns when referring to them[1]. "Fae" was the only nounself pronoun with a comparable level of popularity in that survey.

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke fae laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug faer.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, faer hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If my mobile phone runs out of power, fae lets me borrow faers.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds faerself.

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/fae/faer/faer/faers/faerself

Female pronouns[edit | edit source]

See She.


He[edit | edit source]

he, him, his, his, himself. Often called male pronouns, grammarians acknowledge that this standard set of pronouns can also be used as gender-neutral or gender-inclusive pronouns for unspecified persons, such as in instructions and legal documents. In the eighteenth century, when prescriptive grammarians decided that "singular they" was no longer acceptable as a gender-neutral pronoun, they instead recommended "gender-neutral he." "Prescriptive grammarians have been calling for 'he' as the gender-neutral pronoun of choice since at least 1745, when a British schoolmistress named Anne Fisher laid down the law in A New Grammar."[3] The use of "gender-neutral he" can make problems in how laws are interpreted, because it's unclear whether it is meant to be gender-inclusive or male-only. For example, in 1927, "the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that women were not persons because its statutes referred to 'persons' with male pronouns."[36][37] In the USA in the nineteenth century, suffragists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought for laws to stop using the "gender-neutral he," because there were cases where this pronoun had been arbitrarily interpreted as a "male he" in order to exclude women from legal protections, or from the right to a license that they had passed exams for. This abuse of legal language happened even in if the documents explicitly said that "he" was meant to include women.[3] Thanks to work in the 1970s by feminists Casey Miller and Kate Swift, "gender-neutral he" has been significantly phased out of use, replaced by the more inclusive he or she.[38]

Use for real non-binary people: There are non-binary people who ask to be called by "he" pronouns, such as comedian Eddie Izzard, writer Richard O'Brien, songwriter Antony Hegarty, and guitarist Pete Townshend.

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke he laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug him.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, his hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow his.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds himself.

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/he

Usage:

  • In the 2018 Gender Census survey, 31.2% of participants were happy for people to use he pronouns when referring to them.[1]

He or she[edit | edit source]

See also: alternating pronouns

he or she, him or her, his or her, his or hers, himself or herself. These are very commonly used as gender-neutral pronouns for unspecified persons, such as in instructions and legal documents. Although grammatically acceptable, and a step more inclusive than only using "he" in these contexts, its length soon makes it cumbersome.[39] It almost always puts the "male" pronoun before the "female" pronoun, which is a little less than equality. (Similar efforts at inclusive language almost always end up with this same male-first ordering: "the habit of always saying 'male and female,' 'husbands and wives,' 'men and women' revealed an unquestioned priority," as pointed out by Casey Miller and Kate Swift in Words and Women (1976),[40] a book on sexism in language and feminist efforts for inclusive language.) "He or she" also gives the impression of including binary genders, while excluding the possibility of other genders.

Use by nonbinary people: Interestingly enough, although "he or she" may be the most popularly used inclusive pronoun set (along with "they"), and therefore may seem an obvious choice for nonbinary people, this set doesn't seem to be popularly used by nonbinary people. However, this may be an artifact of the way the surveys were taken. The 2018 Gender Census found 13.8% of the respondents asked people to "mix up" their pronouns (alternating pronouns).[1] A 2012 survey found 20 respondents who wished to be called both "he" and "she."[41] It may be the case that people who prefer to be called "he or she" simply entered their preference into the surveys in a slightly different format. It may also be the case that it's virtually unheard-of for nonbinary people to feel that "he or she" represents them. Either way, its absence in these surveys is intriguing, and may need to be addressed more specifically in future surveys.

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke he or she laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug him or her.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, his or her hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow his or hers.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds himself or herself.


It[edit | edit source]

it, it, its, its, itself. This standard English set of genderless pronouns is used for inanimate objects, animals, and human infants. During Dickens’ time, these were also acceptable pronouns for older human children and spirits of the dead, as these permutations of humanity were seen as not really male or female. This pronoun is not male or female. Using it for an adult human is often seen as an insult, dehumanizing. While considered offensive by most, some nonbinary people use "it" as a means of reclamation and to challenge the idea that genderlessness is inherently dehumanizing.

Because "it" pronouns are the default on LamdaMOO and on similar multi-user environments, they tend to be common there, but less common than "he" or "she." In 1996, "it" pronouns were the most popular non-binary pronoun choice on LambdaMOO (1162 out of 7065 player characters) and MediaMOO (280 out of 1015 player characters).[42]

Use for real nonbinary people: In the 2018 Gender Census, 4.5% of the participants were happy for people to use it pronouns when referring to them.[1]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke it laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug it.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, its hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow its.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds itself.

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/it

Male pronouns[edit | edit source]

See he.


Name[edit | edit source]

See no pronouns or nounself pronouns.

Ne[edit | edit source]

Several sets of pronouns use "ne" in the nominative form. One set of "ne" pronouns is one of the oldest sets of neo-pronouns, but not all its forms were recorded: ne, nim, nis, (not recorded), (not recorded), which was created around 1850,[18] and appeared in print in 1884.[15] Some of the better-attested sets of "ne" pronouns, in alphabetical order:

Ne (nem)[edit | edit source]

ne, nem, nir, nirs, nemself. In Spectra, a science fiction comic by Cori Walters, characters with nonbinary genders are called by these pronouns. Walters uses this pronoun for one of the three gender roles in a species that has only one sex, and all people voluntarily choose their gender roles. The comic started in 2013 and is still in progress.[43]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke ne laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug nem.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, nir hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow nirs.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds nemself.

In the 2018 Gender Census, 19 participants (0.2%) entered the set of pronouns ne/nem/nir/nirs/nemself.[1]

Ne (ner)[edit | edit source]

ne, ner, nis, nis, nemself. In a 1974 issue of Today's Education, "Mildred Fenner attributes this to Fred Wilhelms."[15][18] Veterinarian Al Lippart independently proposed the same set of pronouns in 1999, recommending them for use when it would be inappropriate to specify the gender of a human, animal, or deity.[44] Lawyer Roberta Morris also independently proposed this same set of pronouns in 2009, saying that these pronouns would be more efficient for within the 140 character limit of Twitter than "he or she." Morris also pointed out that the "n" can refer to "neuter."[45]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke ne laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug ner.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, nis hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow nis.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds nemself.

No pronouns[edit | edit source]

Many nonbinary people prefer not to be referred to by pronouns of any kind; see below for statistics. This can be because they have learned that any set of pronouns can potentially feel uncomfortable for them (gender dysphoria). In fiction and other writing, avoiding the use of any pronouns for a person can be used to avoid giving any sign of that person's gender. Instead of using pronouns, a person can be referred to by their name, a word that describes them, or the sentence can be rephrased.

While the grammatical labels on the sample sentences below are no longer correct, the sentences can be adjusted to exclude pronouns while still talking about a specific person.

  • Nominative: (Demonstrative + noun replaces pronoun) When I tell someone a joke, that person laughs.
  • Accusative: (Eliminated second reference to the person) I greet my friend with a hug.
  • Pronominal possessive: (Replaced with an "it" that technically has no antecedent but clearly refers to the possessed thing) When someone does not get a haircut, it grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: (Possessive eliminated) If my mobile phone runs out of power, my friend lends me another.
  • Reflexive: (Reflexive emphasizing independence replaced with adverb) Each child gets food independently.

Using names or descriptions without changing the sentence structure:

  • Nominative: When I tell Taylor a joke Taylor laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet Ash I hug Ash.
  • Pronominal possessive: When the kid does not get a haircut, the kid's hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow the friend's.
  • Reflexive: Morgan feeds Morgan.

Other noteworthy techniques for removing third-person pronouns from a sentence include:

  • Passive voice: "Taylor's mopping the kitchen. When he finishes, we'll go for a walk" becomes "Taylor's mopping the kitchen. When it's done, we'll go for a walk." Here "it" refers to the kitchen or maybe the task of mopping, and we use passive voice because there's no need to repeat who's doing it.
  • Second person: Instead of talking about someone in third person, why not talk to them instead? Say you're talking to Kevin and Elisa, who prefers no third-person pronouns, is in the room. You could tell Kevin, "I'd love to go with you for coffee, but Elisa's already claimed me for the evening," but if you do that and want to start expanding on what Elisa's up to, you might be tempted to use third-person pronouns. Instead you could shift to Elisa and say "but you've got me booked for the evening," and then Elisa could tell about the plans without being spoken for.
  • Substitute an article for a possessive pronoun: "Morgan couldn't find his coat" becomes "Morgan couldn't find the coat." "Ash broke her toe" becomes "Ash broke a toe."
  • Other ways to rephrase. "The alien slithered closer, and its eyes glowed" becomes "The alien slithered closer, eyes glowing."

In use for real nonbinary people: In the 2018 Gender Census, 10.1% of participants were happy for people to avoid using pronouns when referring to them.[1]

One[edit | edit source]

one, one, one’s, one’s, oneself. This is a standard English set of pronouns used for a hypothetical person whose gender is not specified.

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke one laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug one.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, one's hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow one's.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds oneself.

Usage:

  • In the 2018 Gender Census, only 4 participants were happy for people to use the pronoun one when referring to them.[1]


Per[edit | edit source]

per (person), per, per, pers, perself. Called "person pronouns," these are meant to be used for a person of any gender. Compare Phelps's phe pronouns, which are also based on the word "person." John Clark created "per" pronouns in a 1972 issue of the Newsletter of the American Anthropological Association.[15]

Use in real life and non-fiction: Person pronouns were one of the sets of pronouns built in to MediaMOO for users to choose from.[46] Richard Ekins and Dave King used these pronouns in the book The Transgender Phenomenon (2006).[47]

Use in fiction: In Marge Piercy's feminist novel, Woman on the Edge of Time, 1976, Piercy used "per" pronouns for all citizens of a utopian future in which gender was no longer seen as a big difference between people.[13]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke per laughs. (Or person laughs.)
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug per.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, per hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow pers.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds perself.

Usage: Despite its apparently extensive use in literature, in the 2018 Gender Census, only nine participants were happy for people to use the pronoun per when referring to them.[1]

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/per


She[edit | edit source]

she, her, her, hers, herself. Often called female pronouns, although in standard usage, they're not used exclusively for women. Grammarians agree that it is standard and acceptable for this set to be used for women, female animals, and ships. The set is also poetically used for countries and fields of studies, which grammarians also see as acceptable. Some feminists recommend replacing "gender-neutral he" with "gender-neutral she." "In 1970, Dana Densmore’s article “Speech is the Form of Thought” appeared in No More Fun and Games: A Journal of Female Liberation; Densmore is evidently the first U.S. advocate of 'she' as a gender-neutral pronoun, a solution many writers, particularly academic writers, favor today."[3] 1974, Gena Corea recommended replacing the "gender-neutral he" with a "gender-neutral she," and like Denmore, argued that the word "she" would be understood to include the word "he."[15]

Use as a gender-neutral pronoun in fiction:

  • Anne Leckie's science fiction novels Ancillary Justice (2013) and Ancillary Sword (2014) were set in a futuristic society that is indifferent to gender, so all the characters are called by gender-neutral "she" pronouns, leaving their actual gender and sex undisclosed. Leckie says she had an assumption at the time that gender is binary, so these are likely not non-binary characters.[48]
  • Cartoonist Rebecca Sugar explained that in her animated science fiction series, Steven Universe, the alien people called Gems really have no sex or gender, even though they all look like women. For this reason, the Gems are only arbitrarily called by "she" pronouns. Sugar said, "Technically, there are no female Gems! There are only Gems! [...] Why not look like human females? That's just what Gems happen to look like! [...] There's a 50 50 chance to use some pronoun on Earth, so why not feminine ones-- it's as convenient as it is arbitrary!"[49] This is a gender-neutral use of "she" pronouns.


Use for real non-binary people: There are non-binary gender people who ask people to use "she" pronouns for them, such as actor Rain Dove, singer-songwriter Ellie Jackson, musician JD Samson, singer Kieran Strange, and actor Tilda Swinton.

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke she laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug her.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, her hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow hers.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds herself.

Usage:

  • In the 2018 Gender Census, 30.9% of participants were happy for people to use she pronouns when referring to them.[1]

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/she

S/he[edit | edit source]

s/he (sHe), hir, hir, hirs, hirself. A set of English gender-neutral pronouns used in books by Timothy Leary in the 1970s, and then by counterculture writers influenced by Leary. For example, in Robert Anton Wilson's book Prometheus Rising (first published in 1983), which is strongly based on Leary's writings about consciousness, Wilson uses SHe [sic] pronouns to include humans of any kind, as short for "she or he."[50] It was used in non-fiction writings about spirituality by the Elf Queen's Daughters and the Silver Elves from the 1970s to the present 2010s. It was also used in fiction in Peter David's Star Trek books. Sometimes with mixed caps, as shown. This pronoun was not entered in the 2018 Gender Census.[1] However, notable nonbinary people who have asked to be called by s/he pronouns include revolutionary communist Leslie Feinberg. In hir book Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue, Feinberg wrote,

"I asked Beacon Press to use s/he [sic] in the author description of me on the cover of Transgender Warriors [another book by Feinberg]. That pronoun is a contribution from the women's liberation movement. Prior to that struggle, the pronoun 'he' was almost universally used to describe humankind-- 'mankind.' So s/he' opened up the pronoun to include 'womankind.' I used s/he on my book jacket because it is recognizable as a gender-neutral pronoun to people. But I personally prefer the pronoun ze because, for me, it melds mankind and womankind into humankind."[51]

At different times, Feinberg has asked to go by "s/he," "ze," or "she" pronouns depending on hir needs and the message meant to send. As quoted in hir obituary, Feinberg had said, "I care which pronoun is used, but people have been disrespectful to me with the wrong pronoun and respectful with the right one. It matters whether someone is using the pronoun as a bigot, or if they are trying to demonstrate respect."[52]. Another notable nonbinary person, singer-songwriter Genesis Breyer P-orridge asks to be referred to by a significantly different version of the s/he pronouns: s/he, h/er, h/er, h/ers, h/erself.[53] This version of the s/he pronouns seems to be less widely known, but there are many different versions of them in use.

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke s/he laughs. (Or sHe laughs. Or s/He laughs.)
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug hir.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, hir hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow hirs.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds hirself.

They[edit | edit source]

See main article: singular they.

Thon[edit | edit source]

thon, thon, thons, thon's, thonself. American composer Charles Crozat Converse of Erie, Pennsylvania proposed this pronoun in 1858, based on a contraction of "that one."[54] The Gender-Neutral Pronoun FAQ gives this pronoun's date of origin as 1884 instead,[18] while Words and Women gives 1859.[55] The "thon" pronoun was included in some dictionaries: Webster's International Dictionary (1910), and Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary (1913), and Webster's Second International (1959). Funk & Wagnalls offered these sentences to show how it should be used: "If Harry or his wife comes, I will be on hand to greet thon," and "Each pupil must learn thon's lesson." "Thon" was used throughout the writings by the founders of chiropractic, B.J. and D.D. Palmer, in 1910.[54] "Thon" is therefore familiar to chiropractors, and sometimes still appears in chiropractic writings, and in works by people who were influenced by that field.

In use for real nonbinary people: In the 2018 Gender Census, six people said that they were happy for people to use thon to refer to them.[1]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke thon laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug thon.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, thons hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow thon's.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds thonself.

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/they

Ve[edit | edit source]

There are several sets of pronouns that use "ve" in the nominative form, the earliest of which was created in 1970. In the 2018 Gender Census, a 0.30% of participants used a set of pronouns starting with ve.[1]

ve, ver, vis, vis, verself is the exact set used by Egan, Hulme, and Reynolds (see below). The set's date of creation and creator are not yet known to the editors of this wiki. A nearly-identical but incompletely recorded set was ve, vir, vis, (not recorded), (not recorded), which was created in 1970, and published in the May issue of Everywoman.[18][15]

Use in fiction:

  • In Keri Hulme's mystery novel The Bone People (1984), a character is called by these ve pronouns.[56]
  • Used by Greg Egan for non-binary gender characters-- including artificial intelligences, as well as transgender humans who identify as a specific nonbinary gender they call "asex"-- in his novels Distress (1995) and Diaspora (1998).[57] Egan is sometimes credited with having created these pronouns, but it doesn't appear that he claims to have done so.
  • In Alastair Reynolds's science fiction novel On the Steel Breeze (2013) one character is called by these ve pronouns. The novel never gives any exposition about this character's sex, gender, or pronouns, and ver gender-neutrality doesn't influence the plot. The lack of remark gives the impression that a nonbinary gender is unremarkable, but this is also why some readers thought the pronouns were a misprint.[58]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke ve laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug ver. (Or: "I hug vir.)
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, vis hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow virs.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds verself.

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/ve

Xe[edit | edit source]

There are several similar sets of neologistic gender-neutral pronouns that use "xe," "ze," "zhe," or "zie" in nominative form. Regardless of spelling, their nominative form is pronounced "zee," and was based on the pronoun sie. The earliest documented version was created in 1972.[15] In alphabetical order, versions of this pronoun set include:

Xe, hir[edit | edit source]

xe, hir, hir, hirs, hirself. Compare the similar "ze, hir..." set, which is apparently used in more literature and by more people. The "xe" version was "Used on alt.support.intergendered and alt.support.crossdressing," transgender communities on the Internet in the 1990s.[59]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke xe laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug hir.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, hir hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow hirs.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds hirself.

Xe, xir[edit | edit source]

xe, xir, xir, xirs, xirself. This pronoun set saw some use on the Internet at least as early as 1998.[60]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke xe laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug xir.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, xir hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow xirs.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds xirself.

Xe, xyr (xem)[edit | edit source]

xe, xyr (xem), xyr, xyrs, xyrself (xemself). This pronoun set makes its earliest known appearance in 1993 in a conversation in an autism mailing list on the Internet.[61][62] The "xem" version of this pronoun set appears in a printed discussion from the mailing list of Autism Network International in 2000, with the explanation that it "was originally used to refer to an intersexed person, but is also used to refer to a person of any gender."[63] This pronoun set was recommended in 2005 by Jonathan de Boyne Pollard, with the version that includes "xem," and both "xyrself" and "xemself."[64]

Use for real nonbinary people: In the 2018 Gender Census, 7.9% of people said they'd be happy for people to use xe/xem/xyr/xyrs/xemself to refer to them.[1]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke xe laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug xem. (Or hug xyr.)
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, xyr hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow xyrs.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds xyrself. (Or feeds xemself.)

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/xe

Ze[edit | edit source]

There are several similar sets of neologistic gender-neutral pronouns that use "xe," "ze," "zhe," or "zie" in nominative form. Regardless of spelling, their nominative form is pronounced "zee," and was based on the pronoun sie. The earliest documented version was created in 1972.[15] "Ze, hir" is the best-attested of the "ze" pronoun sets; see the Talk page for other sets with this nominative form.

Ze, hir[edit | edit source]

ze, hir, hir, hirs, hirself. Compare the similar "xe, hir..." set, which is the version less attested by print sources. Sarah Dopp wrote a blog post about the "ze" version in 2006.[65] Leslie Feinberg also used the "ze" version in the book Drag King Dreams (2006),[66] Erika Lopez used the "ze" version in The Girl Must Die: A Monster Girl Memoir (2010).[67] M. J. Locke used the "ze" version in the book Up Against It (2011).[68]

Use in fiction:

  • Kameron Hurley used these pronouns in the fantasy novels The Mirror Empire and Empire Ascendant, for characters who are ataisa, an in-between gender role where their culture puts everyone who has a nonbinary gender.[69]
  • In Seth Dickinson's short science fiction story, "Sekhmet Hunts the Dying Gnosis: A Computation" (2014), a transhuman character of "uncertain ... sex" is called by the pronoun "ze," which only appears in the nominative form.[70]
  • In K. A. Cook's short story "Blue Paint, Chocolate and Other Similes," in Crooked Words, when the narrator Ben recognizes that Chris identifies as nonbinary, Ben begins using "ze, hir" pronouns for Chris, before finding a good moment to ask for Chris's actual pronoun preference.[71] In another story by K. A. Cook, "The Differently Animated and Queer Society," the character Pat goes by "ze, hir" pronouns, and uses them for other characters before finding out each of their own pronoun preferences.[72]

Use for real non-binary people:

  • Kate Bornstein used them in the books Nearly Roadkill (1996) (with Caitlin Sullivan June)[73], and My Gender Workbook (1998) in reference to hirself, and to other specific transgender people, as well as hypothetical persons of unspecified gender.[74]
  • Kate Bornstein goes by these "ze, hir" pronouns. Leslie Feinberg asked to be called by "ze, hir" pronouns, along with "zie, hir" and "she."[75] In a magazine interview from 2014, Gabriel Antonio and another anonymous person both asked to be called by these pronouns.[76]
  • In the 2018 Gender Census, 5.3% of participants said they would be happy for people to use "ze/hir/hir/hirs/hirself" to refer to them.[1]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke ze laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug hir.
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, hir hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow hirs.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds hirself.

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/ze

Zie[edit | edit source]

zie, zir (zim), zir, zirs, zirself. (Compare the most similar pronoun set, "ze, zir", and other similar pronouns, "xe" and "zhe".) The Gender Neutral Pronoun FAQ says this set (with the "zie" spelling, and accusative "zir") was widely used on the Internet at the time, but doesn't know when it was created.[77] Andrés Pérez-Bergquist recommended a version of this set (with the "zie" spelling, and accusative "zim") in 2000, but claims not to have created it.[78]

Use in fiction:

  • This set (with the "zie" spelling, and accusative "zir") is in the fantasy setting of Bard Bloom's World Tree, for the many characters with sexes other than female or male. Many species in this setting have such sexes, including the protagonist of a book in that setting, Sythyry's Journal, which was first serialized as a blog starting in 2002. The setting also has a role-playing game handbook, World Tree: A role playing game of species and civilization (2001).

Use for real nonbinary people:

  • In the 2018 Gender Census, 15 people (around 0.1%) said they'd be happy for people to use zie/zir (or some similar spelling) to refer to them.[1]

Forms:

  • Nominative: When I tell someone a joke zie laughs.
  • Accusative: When I greet a friend I hug zir. (Or hug zim.)
  • Pronominal possessive: When someone does not get a haircut, zir hair grows long.
  • Predicative possessive: If I need a phone, my friend lets me borrow zirs.
  • Reflexive: Each child feeds zirself.

On Pronoun Island: http://pronoun.is/zie

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 Gender Census - The pronouns question, August 2018.
  2. Henry Churchyard, "Singular 'Their' in Jane Austen and Elsewhere." http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/austheir.html
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Maria Bustillos, "Our desperate, 250-year-long search for a gender neutral pronoun." January 6, 2011. http://www.theawl.com/2011/01/our-desperate-250-year-long-search-for-a-gender-neutral-pronoun
  4. Geoffrey Pullum, "Canada Supreme Court Gets the Grammar Right." Language Log. August 18. 2004. http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001362.html
  5. "History." Gender Neutral Pronoun FAQ. https://web.archive.org/web/20050207103316/http://www.aetherlumina.com/gnp/history.html
  6. "History - Native-English GNPs". Gender-Neutral Pronoun FAQ. Retrieved 2007-01-01.
  7. "Epicene pronouns." American Heritage Book of English Usage. http://web.archive.org/web/20080630041424/http://www.bartleby.com/64/C005/004.html
  8. K. A. Cook, "The Differently Animated and Queer Society." Crooked Words. Unpaged.
  9. Rebecca Hersher, "'Yo' said what?" April 24, 2013. NPR: Code Switch. [1]
  10. Elizabeth J. Elrod, "Give us a gender neutral pronoun, yo!: The need for and creation of a gender neutral, singular, third person, personal pronoun." Undergraduate Honors Theses paper 200. 2014. http://dc.etsu.edu/honors/200 or http://dc.etsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1203&context=honors (PDF)
  11. Klaus Beck, Computervermittelte Kommunikation im Internet. p. 157.
  12. Laura Borràs Castanyer, ed. Textualidades electrónicas: Nuevos escenarios para la literatura. p. 158.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 https://web.archive.org/web/20070310125817/http://aetherlumina.com/gnp/references.html
  14. K. A. Cook, "Blue Paint, Chocolate and Other Similes." Crooked Words. Unpaged.
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 Dennis Baron, "The Epicene Pronouns: A chronology of the word that failed." http://www.english.illinois.edu/-people-/faculty/debaron/essays/epicene.htm
  16. https://web.archive.org/web/20070310125817/http://aetherlumina.com/gnp/references.html
  17. Casey Miller and Kate Swift, Words and Women. Pages 129-130.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 4.2.5. Comprehensive Listing of Neologisms, March 10 2007
  19. V.Dentata, "MOO Bash FAQ." 1999. http://www.amanita.net/bashfaq.html
  20. Sue Thomas, Hello World: Travels in Virtuality. 2004. P. 33.
  21. Sue Thomas, Hello World: Travels in Virtuality. p. 34.
  22. Steve Jones, Cybersociety 2.0: Revisiting Computer-Mediated Community and Technology. p. 141.
  23. Elizabeth Hess, Yib's Guide to Mooing: Getting the Most from Virtual Communities on the Internet. 2003. p. 3, p. 283.
  24. Sue Thomas, Hello World: Travels in Virtuality. p. 31-32.
  25. Steven Shaviro, "Preface." Doom Patrols. http://www.dhalgren.com/Doom/ch00.html
  26. Sayuri Ueda, The Cage of Zeus. 2011.
  27. Steve Jones, Cybersociety 2.0: Revisiting Computer-Mediated Community and Technology. p. 142.
  28. Steve Jones, Cybersociety 2.0: Revisiting Computer-Mediated Community and Technology. p. 141.
  29. Bogi Takács' biography on Smashwords, captured March 2016.
  30. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:List_of_protologisms_by_topic/third_person_singular_gender_neutral_pronouns#cite_note-1
  31. CJ Carter, "Genderless singular pronouns." http://tib.cjcs.com/genderless-pronouns-ey-em-and-eir-2/
  32. "Que Será Serees". CJ's Creative Studio. http://cjcs.com/writing/fiction/que-sera-serees/
  33. K. A. Cook, "Misstery Man." Crooked Words. Unpaged.
  34. http://quasiboi.co.vu/post/74445593229/list-of-pronouns
  35. Ask A Nonbinary's list of unthemed pronouns, captured March 2016
  36. "Pronoun perspectives." Gender neutral pronoun blog. https://genderneutralpronoun.wordpress.com/links/pronoun-perspectives/
  37. Geoffrey Pullum, "Canada Supreme Court Gets the Grammar Right." Language Log. August 18. 2004. http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/001362.html
  38. Elizabeth Isele, "Casey Miller and Kate Swift: Women Who Dared To Disturb the Lexicon." Women in Literature and Life Assembly, Vol. 3, Fall 1994. [2]
  39. https://web.archive.org/web/20050205052157/http://www.aetherlumina.com/gnp/faq.html
  40. Casey Miller and Kate Swift, Words and Women. Page x.
  41. anlamasanda, "Results of pronoun survey." January 1, 2012. http://anlamasanda.tumblr.com/post/15140114246
  42. Steve Jones, Cybersociety 2.0: Revisiting Computer-Mediated Community and Technology. p. 142.
  43. Spectra. http://spectracomic.smackjeeves.com/
  44. Al Lippart, "Intoducing the New Neutral Third Person Singular Personal Pronoun." 1999. Introducing... Ne. http://www.lippart.com/ne.html
  45. Roberta Morris, "The need for a neuter pronoun: A solution." September 29, 2009. http://myunpublishedworks2.blogspot.com/2009/09/need-for-neuter-pronoun-solution.html
  46. Laura Borràs Castanyer, ed. Textualidades electrónicas: Nuevos escenarios para la literatura. p. 158.
  47. Richard Ekins and Dave King. The Transgender Phenomenon. Sage Publications, 2006.
  48. Geek's Guide to the Galaxy, "Sci-fi's hottest new writer won't tell you the sex of her characters." October 11, 2014. Wired. http://www.wired.com/2014/10/geeks-guide-ann-leckie/
  49. Rebecca Sugar. Reddit. http://www.reddit.com/user/RebeccaSugar
  50. Robert Anton Wilson, Prometheus Rising. Second edition. Grand Junction, Colorado: Hilaritas Press, 2016. Page 55.
  51. Leslie Feinberg, Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue. Page 71.
  52. Minnie Bruce Pratt, "Transgender Pioneer and Stone Butch Blues Author Leslie Feinberg Has Died." Advocate. November 17, 2014. http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/books/2014/11/17/transgender-pioneer-leslie-feinberg-stone-butch-blues-has-died
  53. "Genesis Breyer P-orridge." http://www.genesisbreyerporridge.com/genesisbreyerporridge.com/Genesis_BREYER_P-ORRIDGE_Home.html
  54. 54.0 54.1 Fred Barge, "Viewpoints from involvement -- 'thon'". Dynamic Chiropractic. August 14, 1992. http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=43422
  55. Casey Miller and Kate Swift, Words and Women. Page 130.
  56. Outis, "Gender-neutral characters and pronouns." November 20, 2013. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1580481-gender-neutral-characters-and-pronouns
  57. John McIntosh, "ve, vis, ver." [3]
  58. Outis, "Gender-neutral characters and pronouns." November 20, 2013. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1580481-gender-neutral-characters-and-pronouns
  59. "GNP FAQ." [4]
  60. Benton, "ADOM and sex." rec.games.roguelike.adom (newsgroup). May 18, 1998. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/rec.games.roguelike.adom/6RBaViEF0gE/v33A7kKysiwJ
  61. Jim Sinclair, "Re: Jim and Steve's snoring discussion." September 14, 1993. bit.listserv.autism, Usenet. https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!msg/bit.listserv.autism/2pyrOMzt_nQ/5J-RU5P3hnIJ
  62. "Xe." Wiktionary. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/xe
  63. J. Blackburn, K. Gottschewski, Elsa George, and Niki L. "A discussion about Theory of Mind : From an Autistic Perspective," Proceedings of Autism Europe's 6th International Congress, Glasgow 19-21 May 2000, in print. https://web.archive.org/web/20060213070451/http://www.autistics.org/library/AE2000-ToM.html
  64. Jonathan de Boyne Pollard. "'Xe', 'xem', and 'xyr' are sex-neutral pronouns and adjectives." 2005. https://web.archive.org/web/20071010095912/http://homepages.tesco.net/J.deBoynePollard/FGA/sex-neutral-pronouns.html
  65. Sarah Dopp, "How transgender folk are fixing an age-old literary problem." August 13, 2006. http://www.sarahdopp.com/blog/2006/how_transgender_folk_are_fixing_an_age_o/
  66. Leslie Feinberg, Drag King Dreams. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2006.
  67. Erika Lopez, The Girl Must Die: A Monster Girl Memoir. Hicken, Jeffrey, San Francisco: Monster Girl Media, 2010.
  68. M. J. Locke, up Against It. New York: Tor, 2011.
  69. Kameron Hurley, "Beyond He-Man and She-Ra: Writing nonbinary characters." https://intellectusspeculativus.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/guest-post-beyond-he-man-she-ra-writing-non-binary-characters-by-kameron-hurley/
  70. Seth Dickinson, "Sekhmet Hunts the Dying Gnosis: A Computation." Beneath Ceaseless Skies, issue 143. March 20, 2014. http://www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/stories/sekhmet-hunts-the-dying-gnosis-a-computation/
  71. K. A. Cook, "Blue Paint, Chocolate and Other Similes." Crooked Words. Unpaged.
  72. K. A. Cook, "The Differently Animated and Queer Society." Crooked Words. Unpaged.
  73. Caitlin Sullivan June and Kate Bornstein. Nearly Roadkill: An Infobahn erotic adventure. New York: Serpent's Tail, 1996, p. 10.
  74. Kate Bornstein, My Gender Workbook. 1st ed. 1998, p. 106-107, 119, 130-131, 154, 248.
  75. Minnie Bruce Pratt, "Transgender Pioneer and Stone Butch Blues Author Leslie Feinberg Has Died." Advocate. November 17, 2014. http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/books/2014/11/17/transgender-pioneer-leslie-feinberg-stone-butch-blues-has-died
  76. Al Donato, "He And She, Ze And Xe: The Case For Gender-Neutral Pronouns." The Plaid Zebra. http://www.theplaidzebra.com/ze-xe-case-gender-neutral-pronouns/
  77. "GNP FAQ." [5]
  78. Andrés Pérez-Bergquist, "Gender-neutral pronouns: The value of zie." 2000. http://santiago.mapache.org/nonfiction/essays/zie.html