I’ve decided to use they/she pronouns, after much reflection. I’m writing this Q&A to answer questions that I think might spring to people’s minds.

What does it mean that you use they/she pronouns?

When referring to me, the right pronouns to use for me are either:

  • They/them/their/theirs/themself,
  • She/her/her/hers/herself.

For instance, one might write either of the following sentences about me:

  • They are writing a post about their pronoun usage, so people will understand how to refer to them.
  • She is writing a post about her pronoun usage, so people will understand how to refer to her.

Do you have a preference between they and she?

My preference is whichever you find easiest, most comfortable, and most reliable to use. If that’s they? Great, use they. If that’s she? Great, use she.

If you’re adept at using either they or she, and you’re completely neutral between the two, lean towards they. That’s why I list them in the order they/she. Or mix it up – use both.

But again, the important thing is that you use one of these two options, and that you use an option that works for you.

What does this mean about your gender?

Gender is not the same thing as pronouns. Gender encapsulates a dizzying array of aspects of oneself, of which pronouns are one part.

My gender is essentially the same as ever: I have a personal sense of my gender, which is a nonbinary gender, not shared by anyone else that I know of. The fact that I use she/her pronouns alongside they/them pronouns doesn’t change the fact that I am nonbinary.

For more on my nonbinary gender, see my introduction to the topic.

My gender, while neither male nor female, incorporates enough feminine aspects that I am comfortable using she/her pronouns, alongside they/them pronouns.

What gendered terms should I use for you?

Please use either gender neutral terms, nonbinary-gendered terms, or feminine-gendered terms when referring to me. If a gender-neutral or nonbinary-specific term is available, please use that. If not, feminine-gendered works for me. For example:

  • When using a title in front of my name, please use the gender neutral titles “Prof.” or “Dr.”. If those weren’t available, “Mx.” or “M.” would also work.
  • If you use “ma’am” and “sir” to politely refer to people, please use “ma’am” for me. If you don’t use those terms, you don’t need to make an exception for me.
  • If I’m dating someone, you can refer to me as that person’s “enfriend”, which is the nonbinary equivalent of a girlfriend. If you can’t remember or produce “enfriend”, “girlfriend” works as well.

What’s your name?

I go by both Isaac and Izzy. Izzy is short for Isaac. Use whichever you prefer. If it’s hard to use Isaac alongside they/she pronouns, feel free to use Izzy.