Ever since learning that trans people exist, the religious right has been struggling to understand a crucial part of our existence. Namely, pronouns: What are they? What do they do? Are they contagious? What’s a they/them and are they going to climb in through the window at night, steal my baby and replace it with a goblin?
Actress, entrepreneur, and trans rights activist Angelica Ross left the internet gagged with her Ryan Murphy receipts yesterday.
Now granted, these are all perfectly sane and legitimate questions to have. It’s only natural that the confused religious right would find themselves confused about the application of this specific area of grammar. That’s why we’ve seen, in recent years, a flurry of videos, posts, and speeches by people who won’t “date a girl with pronouns” or politicians who are ready to “abolish pronouns.” They’re talking, of course, about gender-neutral pronouns. And yet somehow pronouns themselves—including the commonly-used he/him, she/her, they/them plural, and you/your—have become the enemy. A recent Ben Garrison cartoon sums up the silliness of the right’s ire against pronouns perfectly—if accidentally.
Another incident from last week goes even further. On the gaming mods site Nexus, some kind and thoughtful person went through the trouble of removing all the pronouns from the game Starfield, resulting in a loss of all pronouns except for they/them. Another accidental win for the community!
Basically if your crusade is against Big Pronoun, don’t be surprised if you end up embarrassing yourself along the way.