Remember last October when the ACLU celebrated International Pronouns Day by having staffers pose for pictures holding up signs bearing their preferred pronouns. Most were pretty traditional, but there was one “they” in the crowd. Dictionary.com got in on the action too by explaining that’s it’s OK to use “they” to refer to one person.

We’re about a month away from International Pronouns Day, but the ACLU is pretty jazzed that Merriam-Webster has added “they” as a nonbinary pronoun to its dictionary.

FINALLY.

4 — used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary (see NONBINARY sense c)
I knew certain things about … the person I was interviewing.… They had adopted their gender-neutral name a few years ago, when they began to consciously identify as nonbinary — that is, neither male nor female. They were in their late 20s, working as an event planner, applying to graduate school.

Remember the person who argued that it was actually transphobic not to put your preferred pronouns in your Twitter bio? We don’t buy that for a second, but presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro must have gotten word because they added pronouns to their Twitter bios. Maybe the moderators should ask at the next Democratic debate which candidates haven’t yet shared their pronouns.

Anyway, at least two dictionaries now say it’s fine to use “they” and “them” to refer to an individual, so get to it.

You’ll be made to care soon enough.


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