My preferred pronouns

I have a life-long history of mental illness. I spent a lot of time in therapy over the years and have managed to learn behaviours which compensate to the extent that I am able to hold down a job and pay bills and survive on my own.

Maintaining a grounding in objective verifiable reality is crucial to my self-care. I often feel as if I am different or that the world is different from what I know it to be. I recognize these feelings as delusional. I refuse to allow them to overcome my reason.

The language that I use is a reflection of my thoughts. I do not permit myself to indulge delusions–my own or another’s–in my speech.

Thus, my prefered pronouns.

I use “he” to refer to male persons and animals.

I use “she” to refer to female persons and animals.

I use “it” to refer to objects.

I use “they” to refer to multiple persons and objects.

I use “she or he” to refer to a single individual who may be of either sex.

This is how I use the language. How you use the language–in fact, what language you speak–is up to you.

You may choose to use a contrafactual pronoun to refer to yourself. You may choose to invent new words to refer to yourself. I will not correct your usage (out loud, anyway, my internal editor will cringe).

Do not seek to change mine.

I will not cater to your delusions.

Not going to happen. I have fought too long and too hard to overcome mine.

I sympathize with people who suffer from identity disorders. I do know exactly how you feel. I know that the way to overcome the issue is to learn to accept reality as it is, and yourself as you are.

This is not easy. It is only necessary.

About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
This entry was posted in On Writing, Who I am and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to My preferred pronouns

  1. feralplum says:

    The difference between reality and fantasy is that reality persists beyond intellectual fashion. Beyond us.I knew a man covered with tattoos for a certain band. He came in one day crying, ‘They broke up!’ Imagine if instead of tattoos….

  2. Keep up the good fight Misha.

  3. IOW, you speak English. And you have the moxie not to let illiterates who don’t speak English coerce you into speaking gibberish. Good for you.

  4. Selene MacLeod says:

    I disagree. Language is a living thing, and it changes all the time. Words that didn’t exist 100 years ago are commonplace today. Human beings are not fixed and eternal, nor should our language, or our pronouns be. It’s merely a matter of respect to call someone by their preferred names and pronouns. You wouldn’t want to be called “Michelle” or “She,” would you? Why can’t you extend someone else the same courtesy? And if you’re not sure, ask. Most people will tell you what they want to be called.

    • MishaBurnett says:

      No, the fact that human beings are divided into male and female is not a matter of respect or courtesy, it’s a matter of biology. I won’t pretend to believe in pseudoscience in order to be polite to someone who is delusional. I worked too long and too hard to overcome that same delusion.

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