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My name is DL, and my pronouns are they/them/theirs. I am 24 years old, and I am queer, trans, genderqueer, and non-binary.

While I do enjoy talking to people, I unfortunately don’t have enough time or energy to explain what this means to every single human I know in-person. Sharing this information over and over again can also start to feel pretty repetitive and keep me from having other important conversations. Furthermore, having a written resource that people can read and refer others to can be helpful.

Here, I will cover how to talk about me as a trans non-binary person, why this language is mandatory, what to do if you make a mistake, what to do if you are corrected, and some tips for being a good ally to trans and non-binary people.

What People Need to Know

How to Talk About Me:

My Identity:

I am queer. I am transgender. I am genderqueer. I am non-binary. So what does this mean? Start by watching these videos:

In a nutshell, what these terms mean to me is that I do not identify as a man or a woman. I am a person who is genderqueer. I do however often express my gender femininly. My gender expression may also continue to change or evolve and become more feminine. While I identify my gender as genderqueer currently, my gender identity may also change in the future. Right now, I am not in a relationship, but in the future, I am most likely to date a man or a non-binary person.

At this point, you may be wondering “how do you know these things about yourself?” or “I perceive you to be some other gender identity, and I think I know who you are.” In response, I will say this – I could spend hours sharing my story with you, and I may do so in the future. However, the fact that I am telling you who I am is enough. My identity is mine. My identity is real. And it is reasonable for trans people to expect the people we know to be respectful of our identities without making us provide any further details or “proof”. This is the reason I have decided not to include any more personal details related to my journey or my current identity in this article.

I am however choosing to be open about my identity, and you have my permission to share my identity. When talking about me to other people, you are welcome to share that I am queer, genderqueer, non-binary and trans. I do not, however, identify as gay, straight, or bisexual. Using the terms gay, straight, or bisexual to describe me is inaccurate. Do not use them. If you are referring to my sexuality, I am queer. If you are referring to my gender identity and expression, you may call me trans, genderqueer, or non-binary.

Note: Please do keep in mind that not everyone is open about their identities, so just because I am giving you permission to talk about my identity, this does not mean you necessarily have the permission of other queer or trans people to talk about theirs. Before sharing someone’s identity, it is always important to check if they are okay with you talking about them and if they are sharing their identities publicly. One other thing to note is that some people use these terms slightly differently than me, so please do not assume that the way I talk about my identity is exactly the same experience all queer and trans people have.

My Name:

My first name is DL. I am asking that starting today (or whenever you first read this) that everyone makes a conscious and good-faith effort to call me by this name. The childhood names and nicknames I was given reflect a gender that I am not. Do not use them.

My Pronouns:

The pronouns I use now are they/them/theirs. It is also appropriate to simply use my name and say DL/DL’s. Similar to my name, I am asking that everyone makes a conscious and good-faith effort to use my pronouns. Since using they/them/theirs is sometimes new to people, here are some examples of how to properly talk about me.

The following examples are all correct uses of my pronouns:

  • DL went to school today.
  • They went to school today.
  • I think DL is such a greater writer.
  • I think they are such a great writer.
  • I want to talk to DL.
  • I want to talk to them.
  • I can’t wait to read DL’s paper.
  • I can’t wait to read their paper.
  • DL’s lipstick is amazing.
  • Their lipstick is amazing.
  • Whose mittens are those? The mittens are DL’s.
  • Whose are mittens are those? The mittens are theirs.
  • I really like DL.
  • I really like that person.
  • I really like that individual.
  • DL talks a lot about their own life.
  • DL talks a lot about themself.
  • They are proud of themself.

Incorrect usage of my pronouns:

If you are using any of the following words to describe me, you are misgendering me: he, she, him, her, his, hers, guy, gal, boy, girl, man, woman, sir, ma’am, madam, gay, lesbian, Mr., Ms., Mrs.

Gendered Honorifics:

It is best to avoid gendered honorifics (sir/ma’am/Mr./Mrs./Ms. etc.) because they exclude non-binary people. To gain my attention, simply say “excuse me” (do not use sir or ma’am). If you must refer to me using a gendered honorific, please use the title “Mx.” pronounced “mix.” Here is a video that explains the use of the term and allows you to hear the pronunciation. Since the purpose of using a gendered honorific is to be polite, I appreciate you taking the time to actually be polite and use an accurate term.

  • I would like to introduce you to Mx. Lundberg

Continue reading Part 2.