My pronouns are:

they/them/themselves

(Singular “they”)

Example usage in sentences:

  • I think they are very nice.
  • I asked them if I can borrow their pencil.
  • They told me that the house is theirs.
  • They said they would rather do it themselves.
Singular “they” has been used in English to describe an unspecified person since the late 1300s (it's even older than singular “you”!). Nowadays, it's the most popular choice among people who prefer gender neutral forms. It starts being accepted by dictionaries too.
It is also common to use “themself” as a reflexive form.

Table:

Subject Object Possessive determiner Possessive pronoun Reflexive
they them their theirs themselves

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Examples from cultural texts:

Singular “they” (they/them)

This list of sources includes both the version with “themselves” and “themself”, as well as those that don't happen to use reflexive.
  • ALOKBio on personal website, 2017

    • ALOK (they/them) is a gender non-conforming writer and performance artist. Their distinctive style and poetic challenge to the gender binary have been internationally renowned. As a mixed-media artist Alok uses poetry, prose, comedy, performance, fashion design, and portraiture to explore themes of gender, race, trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They are the author of Femme in Public (2017) and Beyond the Gender Binary (2020). In 2019 they were honored as one of NBC’s Pride 50 and Out Magazine’s OUT 100. They have presented their work in more than 40 countries.
  • Bugsnax, 2020

    • Dislikes journalists for painting them as creepy.
    • Shelda stroked Lizbert's distrust of Floofty, and they fled.

  • Billions (Season 2, Episode 2), 2017

    • Hello, I'm Taylor. My pronouns are they, theirs, and them.
    • – She spotted that from outer space?
      – Not she. They.
  • DeGrassi: Next Class (Season 4, Episode 6 “#FactsOnly”), 2017

    • My favorite vlogger did a thing about this. They identify as genderqueer. Or, I think there’s another name for it. Um... Genderfluid. They feel like they’re between a boy or a girl. Or both. Or neither.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, 2019

    • Lord Hordak, I’d like to introduce you to Double Trouble. They’re our newest asset in taking down the Rebellion. (Season 4, Episode 3)
    • We captured Double Trouble! They’re refusing to talk to us, but... still! (Season 4, Episode 8)
  • Star Trek: Discovery (Season 3 Episode 8, “The Sanctuary”), 2020

    • – But even so, their work has been nothing short of stellar. They're... really something.
      – They're also awake.
  • Avinash ChakBeyond 'he' and 'she': The rise of non-binary pronouns (BBC News), 2015

    • kat baus, a non-binary student who graduated from Harvard this year - and who also writes their name without capital letters - regrets that the university's computer system was not introduced earlier. "It would have been a lot easier and less awkward," baus says.
      baus sent emails or visited professors during office hours to explain their gender identity and pronouns. In smaller classes they (baus) brought it up when introducing themself.
  • Jamie FeldmanHow Being The First Non-Binary Person Vying For Miss Colorado USA Changed Their Life (HuffPost), 2019

    • Their friends and family were wary but supportive ― so much so that Stecina quickly collected enough money to cover the application fee through fundraising on social media ― and after publicly announcing their intention to compete, they found themself in a particularly vulnerable place.
  • Alison FloodMarieke Lucas Rijneveld wins International Booker for The Discomfort of Evening (The Guardian), 2020

    • In their acceptance speech, Rijneveld said they wrote the words “be relentless” on the wall above their desk while writing their novel.
      “Today, when the world has been turned upside down and is showing its dark side, I often remember those words. So, write, read, win, lose, love each other, but be relentless in this,” they said.
  • Ben KesslenNonbinary 'Billions' star Asia Kate Dillon won't be 'made precious' (NBC News), 2019

    • As Dillon explains it, when they started as a recurring character in Season 2, Taylor was ”sort of introduced as this moral and ethical center in a very unethical world.” A young, queer and nonbinary person entering the male-dominated hedge fund world, their character acted as an antidote to the hedge fund’s money-hungry male employees. But, as Dillon said, power and money “corrupt” and their character wasn’t immune.
  • Mordechai LaubKacen Callender shares the importance of queer novels (Young Entertainment), 2020

    • Kacen Callender is a bestselling and award-winning author. They have written novels for middle school readers, young adult readers, and adults. Kacen Callender born and raised in St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands. Some of Kacen Callender’s novels include This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story and Felix Ever After.
  • Alexis PetridisSam Smith: Love Goes review – heartbreak album plays it safe in hard times (The Guardian), 2020

    • The lyrics stick fast to romantic misery, from infidelity to perfidious swine interested only in Smith’s bank balance. These are perennial topics for Smith, though as they told Lowe, their first two albums were inspired by unrequited love; Love Goes is apparently their “first proper heartbreak album”.
  • R. B. Lemberg (Uncanny Magazine), 2019

    • R.B. Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Ukraine, Russia, and Israel to the US. Their stories and poems have appeared in Lightspeed‘s Queers Destroy Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny Magazine, Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology, and more.
  • Star Trek: Discovery Introduces First Transgender and Non-Binary Characters (StarTrek.com), 2020

    • Del Barrio was in their final year of studies at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art when they auditioned for the role of Adira. Del Barrio has been acting in theater and short films since the age of 7, and they’re incredibly excited to make their television acting debut in season three of Discovery.
  • Charlie Jane AndrewsThe Bookstore at the End of America (short story from the collection A People's Future of the United States), 2019

    • Sander stared at the space where Souls on the Land ought to be, and their pale, round face was full of lines. They had a single tattoo of a butterfly clad in gleaming armor, and the wires rained from the shaved back of their skull. They were some kind of engineer for the Anoth Complex.
  • Yoon Ha LeePhoenix Extravagant, 2020

    • What did you expect? they asked themself. They'd known about Vei's loyalties from the beginning, even if she had Hwagugin blood. Being intimate with Jebi didn't change her nature. But they couldn't help wishing it were otherwise.
  • Daniel José OlderStar Wars: Last Shot, 2018

    • Now Taka was yelling something, singing, perhaps, in tune with the melodious love song that the world itself sang. They were insistent, there was somewhere apparently they wanted to be, and wanted Han to be, too, which was lovely.
  • Kelly RobsonIntervention (in Infinity’s End, edited by Jonathan Strahan), 2018

    • Émeraude unclipped and offered the doctor their hand. They were a kid with only two modes: all-out or flatline. A few months back, they’d injured themselves cranking on a crimp, completely bowstringing the flexor tendon.
  • William ShakespeareThe Comedy of Errors (Act IV, Scene III), 1594; Early use of (generic) singular they/them.

    • There's not a man I meet but doth salute me
      As if I were their well-acquainted friend
  • Virginia WoolfOrlando: A Biography, 1928; The titular character of Woolf's novel mysteriously changes from a man into a woman at the age of 30 and lives for over 300 years without aging. Singular they is used in the passage describing Orlando's “transformation”.

    • We may take advantage of this pause in the narrative to make certain statements. Orlando had become a woman--there is no denying it. But in every other respect, Orlando remained precisely as he had been. The change of sex, though it altered their future, did nothing whatever to alter their identity. Their faces remained, as their portraits prove, practically the same. His memory--but in future we must, for convention's sake, say 'her' for 'his,' and 'she' for 'he'--her memory then, went back through all the events of her past life without encountering any obstacle.
  • The Holy Bible, King James Version. Deutronomy 17:5, 1611; Early use of (generic) singular they/them.

    • Then shalt thou bring forth that man, or that woman (which haue committed that wicked thing) vnto thy gates, euen that man, or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones till they die.
  • Sam DomingoIt’s as if my ears want to close, 2020; The poem was part of a performative lecture “When words erase people. Experiences of non-binary people in Poland and the Philippines”

    • A certain softness is in their voice,
      Almost whispering constant aggression.
      They tell me the slurs, now notes,
      have formed a harmonious hum of
      The melancholy of the linguistic conundrum.
      They sing to me an elegy for their dead name.
      It's as if my ears want to close.

      They smoke for a breather,
      Mimicking the gasps from sudden attacks
      Of "tita," [aunt] "ate," [sister] and "ma'am"
      Invoked from homophobic lungs
      That gave claustrophobic traumas.
      I gulp the air now a pound heavier.
      It's as if their ears want to close.

What's the deal with pronouns?

We all have pronouns. They're 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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