All About Neopronouns
Updated: Sep 30, 2021
By Wendy Garcia
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There are many ways people can express their gender. Whether it’s through clothing, makeup, mannerisms, pronouns, or gendered terms, there’s no right or wrong way to express one’s gender. One of the ways more people, particularly non-binary or gender non-conforming individuals, are expressing their gender is through the use of neopronouns.
What are neopronouns?
Neopronouns are any set of pronouns besides she/her, he/him, and they/them. They are usually gender neutral and mostly used by non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals. While many neopronouns have been created recently, there are some that date back to first being used many years ago. For instance, the first known set of neopronouns is thon/thons created by Charles Crozat Converse and was first used in 1858. Some common neopronouns are xe/xem, ve/ver, ae/aer, ey/em, and ze/zir, but there are so many more neopronouns out there. It’s important to note that there are some neopronouns coined by neurodivergent people and are more exclusive for them to use, so additional research is essential when looking through possible neopronouns to use.
Why not just use they/them pronouns?
Since most neopronouns are gender neutral, some people wonder why not just use they/them pronouns? Many people who use neopronouns also use they/them pronouns, though there are people that only use neopronouns and may have their own reasons as to why they don't use they/them. Some may not want people to confuse the singular they with the plural they. Others may find that neopronouns express something about their gender in a way they/them doesn’t. Some neurodivergent people may see their gender differently than neurotypical people and want to express that with neopronouns. There are also some cultures that have different views on gender that can’t be expressed accurately through she/her, he/him, or they/them pronouns. Ultimately, people are free to use whichever pronouns makes them the most comfortable, so if they/them aren’t the right pronouns for someone but a set of neopronouns are, that is totally valid.
How to use neopronouns
For the most part, neopronouns are used in the same format as she/her, he/him, and they/them pronouns. It’s best to ask someone who uses neopronouns how to use them as it can be different for everyone and there are some sets of neopronouns with slightly different variations in formatting.
An example of how to use neopronouns can be demonstrated with ve/ver and equating it to the usage of he/him:
He went to the store.
Ve went to the store.
I saw him over there.
I saw ver over there.
He brought his phone to the park.
Ve brought vis phone to the park.
He sat by himself.
Ve sat by verself.
Neopronouns may be a new concept to many people, but being confused by neopronouns doesn’t give anyone the right to be disrespectful towards those who use neopronouns. The way we see gender and many other things in society is constantly changing, so it’s important to always have an open mind, ask questions, do research, and not invalidate anyone in the process.
“Neopronoun Education.” Carrd, 2021, neopronoun.carrd.co/. Accessed 28 Aug. 2021.
“Neopronouns.” LGBTA Wiki, 2019, lgbta.wikia.org/wiki/Neopronouns. Accessed 28 Aug. 2021.
“Pronoun Island.” Pronoun.is, 2021, pronoun.is/. Accessed 28 Aug. 2021.
Written by writer Wendy Garcia