tobias_platen's blog

Tobias Alexandra Platen's software freedom blog

What’s in a pronoun?

Today is Transgender Day of Visibility, and I am nonbinary Transgender.

I recently told people that I now prefer they/them, or any other gender neutral pronoun, such as spivak (e). But he/she is OK, depending on context too. Since I still go by my masculine name, most people use masculine pronouns.

In German there is no standardized neuter pronoun, I go by er/sie but strongly prefer er. By contrast Finnish has no binary gendered pronous, the only one is hän, a gender neutral pronoun. When I started learning Finnish I had difficulty translating that pronoun. The use of hän does not misgender anyone, wheather they are nonbinary or not. German has ternary grammitical gender, er (masculine), sie (feminine) and es (neuter).
The neuter pronoun is not commonly used to refer to a person, only tho things and persons in some cases.

Somtimes I am a women, sometimes a men, often both at the same time, so both pronouns are correct for me, so strictly speaking using one of those pronouns is not misgendering in my case. Still I prefer neutral pronous, as those do not misgender anyone.

I mostly present masculine, but I do have a feminine voice, so that I can pass as a woman on the phone. I consider my voice more androgynous or in the upper part of the male range, which overlaps with the lower female range. When I first passed as a women that way I was unware of being Transgender and told poeple my masculine name, they were confused, because they were expecing a person with a masculine name not to be a women. At that time, I began cosplaying female characters, wearing red lipstick and nail polish.

Later after more people I know came out as trans, or nonbinary, I knew that I was nonbinary too and began exploring the use of different names, using different pronouns for each name. I was a grammer geek long before, and once in Star Trek when Riker tried to avoid personal pronouns, I liked that.

Tobias Alexandra Platen (he/she/they) or short Alex (they/them only)