Lately, I’ve been wondering if my correct pronouns should be “he/they,” rather than just “he”. I have personal reasons for thinking it may be, but I’m wrestling with the social aspects of it.
If I publicly change my pronouns, I want it to be an act that can help. I want to be a good ally and accomplice to trans folk. I want to do what I can (even if ever so little) to increase acceptance of trans identities.
I believe the most important task we have in pursuit of trans rights, women’s rights, and even men’s rights, is to reject toxic masculinity. “He/they” is such a rejection and undermines the primacy of what we think of as “male.”
If more people like me—commonly perceived to be cisgender male—embraced “they” as a pronoun for ourselves, would it help? Can we make a wider range of identities more acceptable in our communities and our society this way? Maybe I can help normalize “they.”
I believe that gender is fluid and exists on a spectrum. I believe most of us exist as a mix of possible gender characteristics. I believe strict cisgender roles are artificial. If I were to make the public statement that, no, actually even someone like me exists to some degree on a fluid spectrum, that statement could be an effective way to question our preconceived notions of gender.
However, I’m not sure I have the right to take on this identity. I do not, under any circumstance, want to be yet another cis person appropriating trans identity for performative wokeness.
I can’t tell if making this change would be appropriate allyship or just appropriation.