Photo by Karina Carvalho on Unsplash

My friend and colleague at Democracy Counts, Daniel H. Wolf, posted this on his almost always fascinating Facebook page: Merriam-Webster dictionary adds ‘they’ as nonbinary pronoun.

I wasn’t surprised to get this information from a post of Dan’s — finding and posting unusual, useful and challenging information is a claim he could make but most likely won’t. I will.

I felt like the person in the picture up above, except that I was also mentally clicking my heels together. Why? Because I’ve been using they/them as a nonbinary pronoun for a long time, to the consternation of some editors and readers.

Even before I recognized that gender, while interesting, is a spectrum, I began to question the use of binary pronouns. It seemed so arbitrary, the idea that we needed one gender or another as an identifier. I suspect my reluctance to lock in gender started with my recognition of the patriarchy we live in. Although (probably) as straight a heterosexual woman as I can be, I’d come to recognize and resist the nature of labels like these.

To have my notion approved, if you will, by a fairly distinguished dictionary was a great way to start my morning. I hope you enjoy approval of nonbinary pronouns as much as I do.

Write well and often,

Writer, life and writing coach, book ghostwriter, Grandmother, Buddhist. Liberal who listens to the other side, political activist-www.DemocracyCounts.org

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