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Call me 'she' but not 'woman'


The world beyond the gender binary is vast and diverse. As a queer facilitator, I’ve come to appreciate the value of writing my pronouns behind my name when it shows up in a video call or on Slack. It makes it easier for people to be good allies to those of us who have come to use pronouns they weren’t assigned at birth.

As a non-binary person, one of the choices I have had to make was on the topic of pronouns. Surprisingly to some, I use “she”, but really I’ll listen to anything that’s not “it”. Multiple people have asked me why this is so. After all, isn’t the whole notion of being non-binary a departure from the “she” that I was assigned at birth?

Yes, but also…

I don’t mind “she”. To me, “she” is camp. A Bette Midler song, a Wendy meme. The affection with which Meryl and Goldie address each other in Death Becomes Her. A woman can be a “she”, and so can a non-binary or genderqueer person, a man, or a lamp.

Being called “she” doesn’t hurt my reality beyond the binary. On the contrary, it amuses me. Whenever I hear someone refer to me as “she”, I giggle a little, as if someone just ran a finger across my spine. It’s cabaret to me, because that person likely doesn’t use the same defition of “she” as me. This tickling of my sensibilities brings me much more delight than deciding what pronoun works best for me. None of them do.