Tag Archives: grammar

The Middle Aged They

My name is Jamie and my pronouns are they/them. This sentence does not come out of my mouth easily. I get flustered when I’m asked which pronouns I use. I don’t like being referred to as she/her. I never have and I never will. In the past two years I’ve made some half-assed attempts to request they/them pronouns, but then I backed off. I never interrupted the conversation to tell someone they made a mistake. This week I have to get over it. Superman had a mental block against Kryptonite. I’ve got a mental block against changing my pronouns.

dont-assume-my-pronounsThey/them still sounds forced and artificial to me, but it goes with Jamie. Both are neutral, both simultaneously raise and answer questions. Both are chosen by me, not given to me at birth. Maybe I forgot how hard it was to change my name, but shifting pronouns seems harder.

I regularly attend a transmasculine support group at The Center. Each meeting starts with a go round of names and PGPs (preferred gender pronouns). The assumption is that everyone knows what they want to go by. Most use he/him, some use they/them, and no one admits they use she/her. Augie says “My name is Augie and my pronouns are Augie.” I’m stuck in a rut saying that I’m Jamie and I am pronoun challenged. Continue reading

The Third Person Singular

Best-pronouns-for-a butchWhenever I hear myself referred to in the female gender I wince. It is a reflex. Whether it is an honorific like Miss or Ma’am, or one of the four pronouns (she, her, hers, herself), it feels wrong. Internally, I always correct the mistake. Lately, it has been irritating me.

I wrote a post a while back about eliminating honorifics. Getting rid of Ms. was relatively easy and extremely satisfying. I did most of it on-line and made a few phone calls requesting the Ms. be removed from in front of my name. My mail now arrives addressed to Jamie Ray. None of my friends or co-workers have ever stuck a Ms. or Miss in front of my name unless they were being sarcastic. But they use pronouns. Continue reading