The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Neopronouns should be respected not ridiculed

May 7, 2021

Modern day transgender discourse has brought up a new topic of discussion. A somewhat controversial topic, neopronouns have many cisgendered people confused and frustrated. Most of this discourse is caused by ignorance and many times transphobia, but more than anything, cisgendered people want to be informed and educated on why neopronouns are necessary and valued to specific communities.

Neopronouns, or new pronouns, are pronouns that are not she, he or they. These pronouns can derive from anything from objects to animals, or even just a change in letters. One example of this would be xe/xem/xyr. You would refer to someone using these pronouns the same way you would using traditional ones. A person could also refer to themselves using bun/bunself.

These new pronouns have been ridiculed and criticized by the vast majority who don’t use them. And while they may look ridiculous to some people at first, they have very important and complex functions. Neopronouns are used by multiple communities to find a sense of place and identity.

For example, many autistic people use neopronouns because they can’t feel a connection to either the female or male gender binary like neurotypical people do. Neopronouns help autistic people exist in a way that is more comfortable and makes more sense to them, because their brains operate differently than the average person. Not all autistic people feel this way, but neopronouns are helpful for some.

Other communities of people who have various psychological disorders also find neopronouns helpful tools to navigate life and their identities. For instance, some people with delusional attachments or various forms of psychosis find neopronouns helpful because they do not feel a relationship to their humanity the same way neurotypical people do.

Neopronouns might help them create distance between their human body that doesn’t feel like a part of themselves by helping them dehumanize their identities. It can also give them space to exist outside of society’s set gender binary that they can’t relate to.

People with complex gender dysphoria also use neopronouns. Like the groups mentioned before, these new pronouns help transgender people like this exist outside of the societal gender binary of male and female they can’t connect with. People who experience gender outside of these boundaries can find connection in the new identity or space neopronouns create for them.

Over all, neopronouns help people with these specific challenges exist in a society that wasn’t built to accommodate them.

Most cisgendered and neurotypical people have very hard times grappling with trying to understand these experiences and for that reason can’t understand why neopronouns are used. Other transphobic individuals don’t understand gender dysphoria, and feel hatred toward groups who they think are “making things up” to destroy traditional gender roles.

The ridicule of neopronouns is rooted in ableism and transphobia because of this ignorance. Neopronouns help thousands of people navigate a society that they feel as though they can’t exist in, and should be respected because of this.

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