Ask the Aunties: How do I tell people my preferred pronouns?

PinkNews brings you a new series, Ask the Aunties, where our fabulous aunties answer your dilemmas.

From dating to telling your pals your pronouns, no dilemma is left unanswered.

Lee Gray, Karnage Kills and Rhys Hollis are the queer agony aunts you always wanted.

In the fourth episode of the series, the aunties answer a dilemma sent in anonymously from someone who is struggling to come out to their family.

The anonymous reader asks: “I recently figured out that I’m non-binary, and now I want to use more neutral pronouns for myself.

“I’ve known my friends for many years, and while I’m sure they’ll be supportive, they’ve always used she and her to describe me.

“How do I get them to use my new pronouns? What if it’s really awkward when they get it wrong?”

Our agony aunts shared their advice with the reader, encouraging them to be open about their non-binary identity and that if people are true friends, they will understand.

“It’s always going to be awkward, it’s just something you can’t get away from,” Karnage said.

“Just tell them.”

Ask the Aunties: Lee, Rhys and Karnage

Lee Gray added: “And if they can’t get on board, they’re not really your friend, hun.”

Rhys Hollis said that if people do misgender you, what matters is the intention behind the pronouns they have used.

“If you do it because you were caught up in the moment, they know I’m not doing it on purpose,” he said.

“And also it becomes really natural – quite quickly your mind adapts to it.”

Karnage added that using they pronouns has become a natural habit for him, too.

He explained: “Before I started doing music and gigs around the queer circuit, but it’s true, your mind does quickly adapt to it.

The queer agony aunts

“[Now] if I’m reading an email or something, and the person isn’t in front of me, I will always say ‘they’.”

Episode one of Ask the Aunties saw our agony aunts help a 16-year-old from Argentina who is struggling with his sexuality.

Lee Gray is a YouTuber and part-time podcaster with Karnage Kills – together they produce a podcast about black queer men’s experiences living and dating in London, called Wolves in the City.

Karnage is a rapper and grime artist from north London, regularly performing on the queer scene. You can also listen to his tracks on SoundCloud.

Rhys Hollis is a drag and cabaret performer, including at The Glory in Dalston, London. You catch him performing at Queefy Cabaret in London on June 8.

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