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Just because a person goes by a certain set or sets of pronouns is not indicative of that person’s gender. A person could be transgender or not transgender (also called “cisgender”) and might share the pronouns they go by. A person could be a man or a woman or both or neither and share any number of these sets of pronouns as the correct ones to use for them, but which set they go by is not necessarily indicative of their gender, even though for most people there is an association between the pronouns they go by and the gender they are.

When a person shares their pronouns, they are naming the pronouns they want to be referred to by in the singular third person (when referring to that person while talking to someone else). For reference, we have included examples below.

She/Her/Hers

She is a writer and wrote that book herself. Those ideas are hers. I like both her and her ideas.”

He/Him/His:

He is a writer and wrote that book himself. Those ideas are his. I like both him and his ideas.”

They/Them/Theirs:

They are a writer and wrote that book themself. Those ideas are theirs. I like both them and their ideas.” Although it may seem grammatically incorrect, singular “they” has been in widespread use for several centuries appearing in the writings of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Austen, Woolf, and many other major English authors. Note that although “they” pronouns here are singular and refer to an individual, the verbs are conjugated the same as with the plural “they” (e.g. “they are”). Also note that in this singular pronoun set many use “themself” rather than “themselves,” although both are typically acceptable. Usually, the “they/them/theirs” pronouns set is acceptable to use when you don’t yet know if a person goes by another set or sets of pronouns.

Ze/Hir:

Ze is a writer and wrote that book hirself. Those ideas are hirs. I like both hir and hir ideas.” Please note that “ze” is usually pronounced with a long “e” and that “hir” and its forms are usually pronounced like the English word “here.” Some people instead go by "ze/zir" pronouns because of the more consistent pronunciation and spelling.

No Pronouns - Use My Name

(example for someone whose name is “Lan”)

Lan is a writer and wrote that book. Those ideas are Lan’s. I like both Lan and Lan’s ideas.” If the reflexive component was important to communicate a message, you could use alternative language such as “Lan wrote that book unassisted” or “Lan was the sole author of that book.” Some might simply say "Lan wrote the book Lan's self."