You knew these kinds of posts were coming.
On the whole, using the preferred pronouns of a friend or acquaintance isn’t really a whole lot of effort, right? Right. But it’s an adjustment for a lot of people to change pronouns entirely or introduce new ones to their vocabulary. Generally speaking, as long as you’re not purposefully digging in about a pronoun, it’s not a big deal. Just try.
But even the most progressive and open-minded of us can bump up against some changes in society that turn their heads around.
So let’s visit u/aitapronouns123, who wondered if she was wrong for not using “it” as a preferred pronoun.
I am a 27 year old transwoman. I came out at fourteen, and over the years I’ve gotten a wonderful group of friends, just about all of which are LGBT and supportive. It’s become a club of sorts, and occasionally we get new members.
She introduces herself as a 27 y/o trans woman who has a great group of pals.
It’s pretty much customary in our particular circle to introduce ourselves with our pronouns. We have several non-binary members, so this is very important to us.
And when they meet new people, the group introduces pronouns. Seems cool so far…
Recently, a friend of mine introduced a new member, who we’ll call D (25, NB). After everyone introduced themselves, D told us their preferred pronouns were it/its.
Here we are: a new friend to the group said that their pronouns are “it/its”.
I immediately got uncomfortable and didn’t really refer to them for the rest of the evening. It wasn’t that D was unpleasant, in fact they were wonderful and very funny.
I have a little bit of history with being referred to as it, especially since I went through bullying in high school that used it as an insult. So I find it demeaning to refer to myself and other people that way.
OP explains that she has a history of being called “it” — makes sense, it makes her uncomfortable.
I felt bad for not respecting D’s pronouns, so I took them aside and explained the issue I had with their chosen pronouns and asked if they had an alternative I could use. They didn’t really give me an answer, just got angry and left.
OP tried to be kind, but it came off as insulting.
Later, the friend that brought D along sent me a message saying that D was very hurt by my refusal to use their pronouns and that they’ve been talking to other people in my friend group about it.
No one has really made a stink about it, but I’m starting to feel much more guilty about it. AITA?
So OP is a little confused — is she an a-hole? Was this a kindly made mistake or a jerk move?
Reddit was pretty gentle, thankfully, because I don’t think this person did anything intentionally cruel.