What pronouns do you use? Have you ever been asked? Do you ask others their pronouns? This week on the podcast, we hand over the reins to our talented summer intern, Paulus van Horne, to share a very personal story about pronouns. In the spring of 2016, Paulus came out as non-binary at college, asking friends and teachers to use the gender neutral pronouns they/them/their. This summer at The World, Paulus came out for the first time at a workplace. This is their story.
Trans people are diverse, but we are not all the same. Non-binary trans people have been largely excluded from the discussion about trans people, and this erasure delegitimizes our identity. What troubles me is that some people are acting out dangerous forms of transphobia to erase non-binary trans people.
When Zev Shofar, a 14-year-old from Takoma Park, started going to Jewish summer camp seven years ago, the children all learned the Hebrew words to introduce themselves. “Chanich” means a male camper; “chanichah” means a female camper. But what if Zev didn’t feel male or female — neither a chanich nor a chanichah?