Reuters on pronouns and gendered language

I found this insightful interactive by Reuters exploring prounouns and how languages are reshaping to include nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people:

Not everyone identifies as a woman or a man. The movement to recognize gender identities beyond female and male is growing in places like Western Europe and the United States, and changing languages around the world.

In English, the pronouns people use — such as ‘she,’ ‘he,’ or ‘they’ — have come to the fore. In some languages, other parts of speech can also be feminine or masculine.

Modifying language to reflect a spectrum of gender identities is a fundamental change that stirs fierce debate.

Ain’t no debate here. Gender identities already exist and language is malleable enough to accommodate them. If we can literally change the meaning of literally to mean not literally, we can change a few letters in a word to make people feel safe to express who they are. But of course, it can be more than “just a few letters” and it’s important to acknowledge that too. So listen without prejudice and do that work.

More on language changes to reduce harm: Alternatives to ableist terms

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