Pronouns, how do they work?

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Let’s face it, the singular pronoun “they” can feel very awkward after a lifetime of exclusively referring to people as “she” or “he.” But using non-binary pronouns is still important, and in a video for PBS Digital Studios’ First Person series, Kristin Russo talks about why.

Adding new words to one’s vocabulary takes some getting used to, Russo acknowledges, but that’s precisely why we need to practice them until they come naturally. Just like it takes a while to remember where things are after we’ve rearranged a room, she says, “you need time to adjust, and I think that’s true for anyone.

“I’ve talked to people who I know, who are dear friends of mine, who use they/them/their pronouns, and would use the wrong pronouns on themselves in the beginning.

“So…we have to keep trying, and we have to keep doing it.”

She also addresses the “new pronouns are just made-up words” argument, pointing out that all words “are things that we just made up.”

Watch the video below:

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