A Matter of Respect: Gender-Neutral Pronoun Guide and Discussion

I am so so sorry that you’ve had such terrible experiences elsewhere in publishing! I know it happens, but it’s wrong. And that’s why we’re trying to make this community better and safer and more inclusive. We’ve got your back here :heart:

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Themselves is grammar, themself is usage, though I have heard both. You basically don’t need to correct this to or from either, IMO.

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Interesting. So “xie” is used for people who identify as agender and “them” for gender neutral (if I recall correctly). I thought these all meant the same as “them”, but people picked the ones they felt more comfortable with or liked the most.

What are the differences between using “ey” or using “vey” or “e”, etc?

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This is more or less correct, gender neutral pronouns don’t correlate to specific gender identities or presentations the way he and she (often) do. Different nonbinary people (even different agender people) use different pronouns depending on what they prefer, what they’re comfortable with, etc. The difference between using different gender neutral pronouns is just that they’re using different pronouns, that’s all it indicates in and of itself.

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Got it. Thank you.

So game wise, it would be good to offer people a choice to enter their preferred pronouns.

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@HomingPidgeon’s got it right! And I would love it so much if every game did this tbh. Just making it a normal quick thing does so much to make trans folks feel welcome.

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I had a long list in Fallen Hero, but yeah, looking back I should have offered the possibility to enter your own as well. Oh well, live and learn.

And it looks like I’ve got a new game to check out once I get a spare moment!

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Thank you so much. I hope you enjoy if you do play. And yeah I did a list too - I would LOVE to know how to let people enter their own, but I don’t yet lol

I never get involved in these sorts of discussions but I just wanted to say how great this community is. That everyone is so accepting and respectful of others is truly inspiring.

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By using the *input_text command :smile:

This works by just having *input_text followed by the name of the pronoun variables, like *input_text they *input_text them, etc., or whatever you’re calling these variables. You’ll also want to check whether the pronouns go with plural or singular verbs.

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Yesterday I realized, that I know how to adress non-binary people in english without seeming Rüde, but I had no idea how I would adress them in my own language. Germany seems to be a bit difficult in that case, cause what is they/them is similar to females singular pronouns.
So I googled and now I am lost in possibilities. It would be cool to have an ‘official’ Term, that while not exactly fitting for everyone, would at least not offend people. But I guess time will bring up such Terms, since germans love to have the certainity of official approved wordings. :smiley:

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In an attempt to respect peoples wishes I just use “they” in replace of most gender pronouns.

I cannot, for the life of me, commit to memory the list of pronouns suggested in the guide. I think its a great idea and a very constructive and creative solution to the problems we all have with this particular subject.

Still, somehow in normal conversation these pronouns feel clunky, odd, and forced. But, so did “they” when I started using it. For me, for now, “they” it is.

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@The_Black_Reaper

I updated the original post with a more explanatory summary of pronouns and parts of speech, in case you wanted to look it over.

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I have to admit that I struggle with the singular use of “they.” I don’t have an issue with a NB pronoun, but “they” already has a recognized use, and having one word with two separate, yet similar uses makes writing confusing, especially when there are multiple people in a scene. Saying it is a matter of respect to use they in the singular is, in my opinion, misguided, due to that unnecessary ambiguity.

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The addressed person’s wish, no matter the confusion is a matter of respect.

With that said, using one standard or another in your writing, as an author, should be your choice, just as which you use to address a specific individual should be their choice.

As the wiki article link I include in the original post shows, there is no one acceptable standard. 20 years from now, the issue might be settled but for now it isn’t.

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I still disagree. I don’t believe it is respectful to take a word that has a meaning, a meaning still relevant and necessary as “they,” and say “now it means this,” without offering any difference in conjunction for the sake of disambiguation.

Consider certain taboo offensive words that are considered demeaning. If I say a certain word means something different than that widespread meaning, that doesn’t mean that it is okay to change it. No one person has the right to change a society’s view and use of a word, regardless of intention.

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@kckolbe I don’t quite agree with your analysis. Singular ‘they’ has been used for centuries, and that’s a normal part of language change. For instance, you don’t use ‘thou’, the singular 2nd person pronoun, you use ‘you’, which is (or was) technically the second person plural before.

And quite a few words were once demeaning but now aren’t considered so. “Rascal” used to be extremely offensive, and “pimp” has been undergoing that kind of shift for decades.

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It is a simple fact of the living English language that words have been evolving in their meaning since English was used. Reading Mark Twain’s Huck Finn book shows us how words in everyday use have evolved in just 100 years of common useage and so the cycle continues with everything written in today’s world …

Communicating in person or by written word in a thread like this with others in your community demands a certain minimal amount of mutual respect to be displayed towards each other. Since pronouns are personal, not using the expressed preference of the person you are engaging, you deny them that respect.

Regardless of your assertions here, certain offensive words are often reclaimed by the targeted people and our society has been recognizing their right to do this since our founding.

This thread is dealing with pronouns only though, so let us refocus the conversation there.

In my game, whatever pronoun scheme I chose should be respected as my right as the author/developer of that game … however, when I communicate in my WiP thread with you, I should use the pronoun of your choice when refering to you, as a matter of respect towards you, a (hopeful) member of my audience.

This sticky is specifically focused on this community, communicating directly with the members of this community and in providing a guide on useage when writing a game under the CoG, HG or HC publishing banners.

It really is not that complicated.

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Fair enough, broadening the argument was distracting. You get what I was going for, but oh well.

The problem with the evolution argument is that they is NOT evolving. No one is arguing that “they” will no longer refer to multiple people, just that it will ALSO mean something else. That’s duplication, a very different thing. And it doesn’t happen because the point of language is to convey effectively with other people. If something fails at that, it falls out of use. This fight is lost before begun, because they will never NOT mean multiple people in English.

@Brian_Rushton
And singular they has not been used for centuries. It was used centuries ago. That’s an important distinction.

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Perhaps, but until the cause is lost for good, let us all come together, as a community, to show support of each other.

As I concluded in my original post – you and I don’t always need to understand why … you and I only need to show our respect for an individual’s gender identity.

When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated, or dysphoric (often all the above.) Avoiding these ills where we are able to is part of being a responsible member of this community.

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