So I’m somewhere outside the gender binary, applying different labels mostly on the basis of what I think is easiest for whoever I’m talking to to understand (I fairly recently got a very dirty look from a slightly older gay man for using the term Queer, and was reminded that reclamation of words is never uniform, and it’s worth being careful).
I significantly prefer a neutral pronoun, although if people haven’t asked/checked/don’t know, I just ignore it. This is working less and less as a coping strategy, not least because it means I’m holding people to different standards (if you’ve asked or been told, and you get it wrong, it hurts more). For quite a while it was more of a positive experience, where I didn’t mind when people got it wrong, but got a little firework of joy in my heart whenever people got it right. The firework is still there, but there’s also a plain old fire coming from the other end, so, yeah…I need to work out how to deal with that better.
My tricks for training my head out of requiring gendered pronouns mostly come from adapting figures of speech. If you start referring to god (if ze comes up) with a neutral pronoun, it (a) makes a lot of sense and (b) gives you some practice trying it. I also kicked a little bit of extra life into a sordidly overdone meme by always going for ‘that’s what xe said’, which has the double benefit of sucking the heteronormativity out of most applications.
I use they with more and more people, as a training wheel. If it’s not necessary for clarity, just say they, and it feels natural, and makes it easier to do when it’s absolutely needed.
It is hardest in the heat of a game though. I have to admit.
But as with Food Chain Magnate, practice will likely make practice.
I’m in a relationship that mostly gets read as straight, but am definitely more flexible than that label, and still haven’t worked out if hetero makes any sense from non-binary position…I kind of don’t think anyone else is quite the same as me, so I guess I’m very, very hetero, but I often find myself hot, so who even knows!
I’m really enjoying my largely queer D and D group too. I don’t think consent and pronouns have ever been discussed so much in any other Phandalanian taverns, but I do like what we’re doing (and it’s lovely being at a table where the theys outnumber the more specifics).
My big pub game group is not very clued up though, and I tend to just be quietly in the corner. I don’t know how people read me, to be honest, but few people seem to get it, and I’ve been asked my pronouns only thrice in two years (and probably more than a hundred people!)
On the one hand, I’m just there to play, and nobody’s ever been phobic in front of me. On the other hand, I often feel like I’m letting the side down when I don’t push.
This has been a very long post with very little aim! Sorry!
Hi, I’m Alabaster, I’m here, I’m queer, and I’m rolling the dice.