If you’re the parent of an estranged adult child (or any adult child) who identifies as transgender or gender non-conforming, you might be asked to refer to them with pronouns you’re not used to.
When your child was growing up, you called her “she” and “her.” Now you’re being asked to use “they” and “them,” “he” and “him,” “ze” and “hir,” or other words you’re not familiar with.
This episode offers a shallow dive into why and how to use your adult child’s pronouns, especially but not exclusively when your child is estranged.
Tina explains that pronouns are personal. Trying to use them correctly and consistently creates a personal connection for which there’s no substitute — even across great distances.
Find out how to use pronouns commonly used by gender non-conforming people, and what to do when you make a mistake.
You may be reassured to know that you don’t have to get it right 100% of the time; if you’re trying in earnest 100% of the time, mistakes are likely to be better tolerated.
For information on what causes estrangement, and ideas on how to repair your parent-adult child relationship, read Tina’s book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child.
Reconnection Club members can discuss this and every episode in the General Discussion forum inside the Reconnection Club.
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UCSF LGBT Resource Center: Pronouns Matter
ADL Let’s Get It Right: Using Correct Pronouns and Names
10 ways to step up as an ally to non-binary people
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