I have decided to begin using formal and familiar pronouns. My formal pronouns are they/them, and these are the pronouns I ask everyone to use unless otherwise invited.
While many folks know my familiar pronouns (I’ve been going by them for a while after all), please try not to use them. Right now, I will only be sharing my familiar pronouns with folks I regularly talk with one-on-one — folks I can call on the phone or chat with on Discord or something.
I will be making this change gradually, starting on Fedi and other online spaces, moving to people I trust offline, and hopefully using this system in all areas of my life by 2023.
If you see someone using pronouns other than they/them for me, feel free to give them a heads up or link them to this post. Or not, as you prefer. Please be courteous in how you approach folks — it may be someone I’ve given permission to use informal pronouns.
For a while, I’ve been uncomfortable with how the US’s culture of ‘nice and friendly’ has erased the difference between formal and informal interactions. EVERYTHING is informal now. Making the choice to cover my head, to only share my hair with members of my family, has been an incredibly positive experience for me. I am hoping this will be similarly positive.
But this is the first time I am asking other people to change the etiquette of how they relate to me. I realize this is a different thing, and may strike some folks as weird or even squicky. Still, the rule of ‘refer to people as they prefer’ should apply.