Spivak Pronouns

While conversing with someone who does not identify with binary gender concepts, preferring instead an identification that is non-gendered (agender, a subset of the Genderqueer community), I was introduced to Spivak pronouns. Since I had never encountered these pronouns before, and this was my first real glimpse into the preferences of agender people regarding how ey wish to be addressed, I felt motivated to look a little further into this – it is not my desire to insult or offend people in this blog or in ‘real’ life.

As a result of this conversation, I have decided that – when addressing anyone or speaking about anyone, whom I am aware of identifying this way – I will use the Spivak pronouns. What was described to me are the Elverson variant of these pronouns and, unless otherwise requested, these are the pronouns I will use, as the ‘ey’ is more distinctive in conversation than the simple ‘e,’ especially in accents where the ‘h’ in the word, ‘he,’ is pronounced silently.

This does not mean I will start referring to everyone using these pronouns – there are a lot of people in this world, myself included, who do identify with binary gender concepts. It is not my task or even my intention to change the way the world speaks, or the way people identify themselves gender-wise. I will also continue to refer to deities who are traditionally seen as gendered beings either as gods or goddesses. This includes shape-shifting gender-benders like Loki. I do not insist that visitors to this blog use these pronouns; but I will point out that it would be the more polite thing to do. If you are a man, for example, I think you would feel irked at society constantly referring to you as a ‘she.’

I am thus doing this out of respect for the Genderqueer community, and offer this page as an explanation for other readers who might not be aware of what a person means when using pronouns like ‘ey,’ ’em,’ ‘eir,’ ‘eirs’ or ’emself;’ or what I mean when I use these pronouns in this blog.

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