My pronouns are:

he/him or she/her

(Interchangeable forms: Normative “he/him” or Normative “she/her” )

Example usage in sentences:

  • I think he is very nice.
  • I asked him if I can borrow his pencil.
  • He told me that the house is his.
  • He said he would rather do it himself.

Table:

Subject Object Possessive determiner Possessive pronoun Reflexive
he him his his himself

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Examples from cultural texts:

Interchangeable forms (he or she)

  • Lena Scherman, Linda HörnqvistLåt mig leva [Let me live] (Sveriges Television), 2020; a Swedish Television documentary featuring Polish non-binary activist Lucien Gaszyńska

    • [Lucien] I switch between female pronouns and male pronouns when I'm speaking. I define myself as non-binary. Yeah, I'm non-binary.
  • Non-binary person – who is it? Margot, Łukasz Jurewicz and other LGBT persons (Polish News), 2020

    • Łukasz is studying – he will be a paramedic in a year. She has had internships and volunteers behind her. – I am an ordinary person and my everyday life looks like everyone else – she emphasizes. He speaks openly and honestly about himself, especially today in the context of the recent events and Margot’s arrest – also a non-binary person.
  • Rick RiordanThe Ship of the Dead, 2017

    • I suppose that was meant to be funny. Most of the time, Alex identified as female, but today he was definitely male. Sometimes I slipped up and used the wrong pronouns for him/her, so Alex liked to return the favor by teasing me mercilessly. Because friendship.
  • Rick RiordanThe Hammer of Thor, 2016; Alex is as an example of when genderfluid people change pronouns mid-conversation or explain what pronouns they're using before speaking

    • Look, some people prefer they (...) They’re nonbinary or mid-spectrum or whatever. If they want you to use they, then that’s what you should do. But for me, personally, I don’t want to use the same pronouns all the time, because that’s not me. I change a lot. That’s sort of the point. When I’m she, I’m she. When I’m he, I’m he. I’m not they. Get it?
    • Mallory crossed her arms. “He doesn’t even have a weapon.”
      She,” Alex corrected.
      “What?” Mallory asked.
      “Call me she—unless and until I tell you otherwise.”
      “But—”
      She it is!” T.J. interceded. “I mean, she she is.” He rubbed his neck as if still worrying about a rifle bow tie. “Let’s get to battle!”
      Alex rose to her feet.
    • That was Alex Fierro, except in pink and green. A second ago, he had been very obviously a boy to me. Now she was very obviously a girl.
    • “Alex, son of Loki!” Helgi began.
      Daughter,” Alex corrected him. “Unless I tell you otherwise, it’s daughter.”
    • "She needed a male relative as a chaperone.”
      I blinked. “So you…?”
      Alex gave me an exaggerated at-your-service bow. “I’m her male relative.”
      I had a moment of reality-flipping vertigo as I realized that, yes, indeed, Alex Fierro was presently a he. I’m not sure how I knew, other than the fact that he had told me so. His wardrobe wasn’t gender specific. He wore his usual rose high-tops with skinny green jeans and a pink long-sleeved T-shirt. His hair, if anything, seemed a little longer, still green with black roots, now combed to one side in the shape of a wave.
      “My pronouns are he and him,” Alex confirmed. “And you can stop staring.”
    • I turned to Alex. “Hey, are you female today?”
      The question slipped out before I had a chance to think about whether it was weird, whether it was rude, or whether it would get me decapitated.
      Alex smiled with what I hoped was amusement and not homicidal glee. “Why do you ask?”
      “The Skofnung Sword. It can’t be drawn in the presence of women. I kind of like it better when it can’t be drawn.”
      “Ah. Hold on.” Alex’s face scrunched up in intense concentration. “There! Now I’m female.”
      My expression must have been priceless.
      Alex burst out laughing. “I’m kidding. Yes, I’m female today. She and her.”
      “But you didn’t just—”
      “Change gender by force of will? No, Magnus. It doesn’t work that way.”

  • Chuck WendigStar Wars: Aftermath: Life Debt, 2016

    • I envy you today for the blessing you are about to receive as you are poised ineluctably to meet his highness, her glory, his wonder, her luminous magnificence—the picaroon! The plunderer! The pirate ruler of Wild Space! The glorious knave, Eleodie Maracavanya!

Normative “he/him” (he/him)

  • Canadian actor Elliot Page shares he is transgender (CBC News), 2020

    • Page said he has been inspired by many in the trans community, and thanked them for their courage, generosity and working to make the world a more inclusive and compassionate place.
      While Page said his joy is real, it is also "fragile." Despite feeling profoundly happy and acknowledging his privilege, he is also scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the jokes and the violence.
  • Ursula K. Le GuinThe Left Hand of Darkness, 1969

    • He was so feminine in looks and manner that I once asked him how many children he had. He looked glum. He had never borne any. He had, however, sired four. It was one of the little jolts I was always getting. Cultural shock was nothing much compared to the biological shock I suffered as a human male among human beings who were, five-sixths of the time, hermaphroditic neuters.
    • Seven years we were kemmerings, and had two sons. Being of his flesh born they had his name Foreth rem ir Osboth, and were reared in that Clanhearth. Three years ago he had gone to Orgny Fastness and he wore now the gold chain of a Celibate of the Foretellers. We had not seen each other those three years, yet seeing his face in the twilight under the arch of stone I felt the old habit of our love as if it had been broken yesterday, and knew the faithfulness in him that had sent him to share my ruin. And feeling that unavailing bond close on me anew, I was angry; for Ashe’s love had always forced me to act against my heart.
  • Linsey MillerMask of Shadows, 2017; a genderfluid character who goes by he, she or they depending on what they’re wearing

  • CavetownThis Is Home, 2015; Includes themes of aromanticism, being transgender.

    • Often I am upset that I cannot fall in love but I guess
      This avoids the stress of falling out of it
    • Ooh... I'll cut my hair
      Ooh... to make you stare
      Ooh... I'll hide my chest
      And I'll figure out a way to get us out of here
    • Get a load of this monster
      He doesn't know how to communicate
      His mind is in a different place
      Will everybody please give him a little bit of space
      Get a load of this train-wreck
      Hishair's a mess and he doesn't know who he is yet
      But little do we know, the stars
      Welcome him with open arms
  • The Spook SchoolRichard and Judy, 2015

    • You tell your son
      That when he's older
      You’ll take him out chasing girls
    • He doesn’t understand
      But he'll get there in the end
      And the boys, the boys the boys, the boys
      Will handle themselves
  • Kohei HorikoshiMy Hero Academia (Translator: Caleb Cook), 2016; Chapter: "Shoto Todoroki: Origin"

    • That Midoriya kid kept prodding at him and got beaten because of it.
    • Wasn't his plan to just keep provoking him, though?
    • Gotta admire his vigor.

Normative “she/her” (she/her)

  • Alicja Ptak, Marcin GocłowskiThousands protest in Poland demanding release of LGBT activist (Reuters), 2020

    • The police started releasing detained protesters on Saturday, but not Margot.
      She is a member of the activist group “Stop Bzdurom”. The group have said they hung flags on statues last week as part of a fight for LGBT rights, an issue thrust into the heart of public debate in Poland during last month’s presidential election.
  • Robin PogrebinLauren Halsey Brings Her Vision of South Central Los Angeles to New York (Naima Green for the New York Times), 2022

    • She gathers whatever items catch her eye along the way and takes photos on her phone. Those finds, together with the ephemera she has saved since her teenage years of making collages (magazine clippings, church figurines, shiny foil palm trees, miniature cars, aquarium plants), fill every corner of Halsey’s Los Angeles studio and gradually make their way into her artwork.
    • Through her installations Halsey is honoring the community that nurtured and inspired her — not only her mother, a teacher, or her father, an accountant, but the church, the convenience stores, her bus route, her relatives and community centers. She is also documenting a particular segment of society, elevating an urban vernacular that often gets devalued or ignored.
    • She’s not trying to unpack notions of racism, she’s just trying to celebrate Blackness,” said the artist Charles Gaines, who taught Halsey when she] was an undergraduate at the California Institute of the Arts. “She’s trying to bring into the realm of art things that are thought to be low culture, things that are victimized by a certain stereotype.”
  • Jacob StolworthyEddie Izzard praised after fans notice use of she/her pronouns in latest TV appearance (The Independent), 2020

    • Earlier this week, the stand-up comedy star, 58, appeared on Sky Arts series Portrait Artist of the Year in which the show’s host Stephen Mangan and contestants referred to Izzard as “she” and “her”. Izzard’s fans, who were catching up with the show at the weekend, have posted supportive messages on social media.
    • Speaking about her decision, Izzard told contestant Chris Holder: "This is the first programme I've asked if I can be 'she' and 'her' – this is a little transition period." She said “it feels very positive”, adding: “I just want to be based in girl mode from now on.”
  • Ursula K. Le GuinWinter's King (in: The Wind's Twelve Quarters), 1975

    • “Argaven looked at them, face after face, the bowed heads and the unbowed.
      “I am Argaven,” she said. “I was king. Who reigns now in Karhide?”
  • Ann LeckieAncillary Justice, 2013

    • She was probably male, to judge from the angular mazelike patterns quilting her shirt. I wasn’t entirely certain. It wouldn’t have mattered, if I had been in Radch space. Radchaai don’t care much about gender, and the language they speak—my own first language—doesn’t mark gender in any way. This language we were speaking now did, and I could make trouble for myself if I used the wrong forms. It didn’t help that cues meant to distinguish gender changed from place to place, sometimes radically, and rarely made much sense to me.
  • Linsey MillerMask of Shadows, 2017; a genderfluid character who goes by he, she or they depending on what they’re wearing

  • Plasterbrain Pizza game (Art by Brendan Blabber (Jelloapocolypse)), 2019; Warped lamp goes by she/her (shes trans, confirmed by the game creator/artist (Jelloapocolypse) on Tumblr and cannonically comes out to the protagonist mid-g

    • "Well... if her reason is lvoe, maybe I can sort of under. Stand"
    • "I guess question IS... do I return her feelings?"
    • "And she IS making a sparkly face at me..."
  • Joe StrikeFurry Nation, 2017; A genderfluid person is referred to by she/her

    • The word "visionary" is tossed around a lot these days, usually referring to sci-fi and fantasy movie directors (whether they deserve it or not), but LeeLee's fiancé, Thadd, has definitely earned the title. For starters, Thadd has a "post-gender" identity, a concept a lot of people are still having trouble wrapping their heads around.
      "I don't care what pronouns people use. Most people think of me as female, while others may assume I'm male and apologize when my voice pitch changes mid-conversation. I never really think of myself as female or male. In a gender-fluid sense I may feel female today and male the next. I'm always just me."
    • Thadd's "department" is the still relatively young field of 3D printing. When I asked her what piqued her interest in the technology, she tells me, "In a way I've always been interested in the technology. Sculpting with clay seemed so painfully slow, and many, many times I wished for the literal invention of 3D printing."
  • Thomas Anderson and Mike DahlinOperating Systems Principles & Practice (Second Edition) Volume II: Concurrency, 2015

    • When an electrician walks into a room she wired last month, she does not have to spend time trying to remember which color is which.
    • Once a philosopher picks up a chopstick, she does not release it until she is done eating, even if that means no one will ever eat.
  • YUNGBLUDmars (from the album “weird!”), 2020; This song is a pretty simple but sad story of a trans woman.

    • She dreamed she'd go to California
      There everyone would adore her
      And all her mates will call her
      'Til four in the morning”
    • But she can't be herself when she's somebody else
    • In the morning, she would take her mother's wedding ring
  • Kohei HorikoshiMy Hero Academia, 2019; Chapter: "School Festival Start!!"

  • Maddy ThorsonIs Madeline Canonically Trans? (Medium), 2018

    • I mentioned earlier that I didn’t know that Madeline was trans during the development of Celeste, and that I had a hunch when we made Farewell. That was a gradual thing. As time went on post-launch, my personal understanding of Madeline shifted from “maybe she’s trans” to “okay she’s definitely trans”.

What's the deal with pronouns?

Pronouns are those words that we use instead of calling someone by their name every time we mention them. Most people use “he/him” and “she/her”, so we automatically assume which one to call them based on someone's looks. But it's actually not that simple…

Gender is complicated. Some people “don't look like” their gender. Some prefer being called in a different way from what you'd assume. Some people don't fit into the boxes of “male” or “female” and prefer more neutral language.

This tool lets you share a link to your pronouns, with example sentences, so that you can show people how you like to be called.

Why does it matter? Because of simple human decency. You wouldn't call Ashley “Samantha” just because you like that name more or because “she looks like a Samantha to you”. Or even if she does have the name “Samantha” in her birth certificate but she absolutely hates it and prefers to use “Ashley”. And it's the exact same story with pronouns – if you don't want to be rude towards someone, please address them properly. The only difference is that we usually know names, but not pronouns. We introduce ourselves with a name, but not pronouns. Let's change that!

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