Living legend Jane Fonda proves you’re never too old to respect people’s pronouns

Jane Fonda. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Jane Fonda, the hale actor who has remained on the frontlines of politics and Hollywood for decades, has once again set the standard when it comes to how us mere mortals should live our meagre lives.

The 81-year-old told the New York Times how, upon meeting someone for the first time, she will ask them which pronouns she should use.

“I’ve been working with really young people,” she said, “when you meet them, they give the pronouns that they go by.

“I’m going on 83. Do I really have to say what pronouns I go by, you know?

“The answer is yes and there’s a learning curve,” she said, adding that the younger generations “are absolutely great and they are making a huge difference, and I feel absolutely hopeful.”
They appear in court cases, employee handbooks and school regulations – pronouns are everywhere as simply, you know, treating people with respect becomes the norm. Surveys have suggested that LGBT+ young people are increasingly finding different ways to express their gender identities and that many are opting for a mix of pronouns.

Jane Fonda: Fiery octogenarian activist and long-term LGBT+ ally. 

Long caught in the crosshairs of environmentalists campaigning and revered by the LGBT+ community, Fonda has a storied history in activism and upporting LGBT+ rights, including giving her full backing to marriage equality in Australia in 2017.

She has previously spoken about being a “beard” for queer actors in Hollywood in the 1960s – when Hollywood was rife with homophobia – including nearly marrying a gay actor who wanted to use her to appear heterosexual.

Jane Fonda is arrested during the "Fire Drill Friday" Climate Change Protest on October 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Jane Fonda is arrested during the “Fire Drill Friday” Climate Change Protest on October 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Fonda campaigned alongside and was friends with Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California who was assassinated in 1978.

“He was the most joyous. He was like Allen Ginsberg. He was always smiling and laughing, and he was beloved and he was funny. The most lovable person,” Fonda said in a 2015 interview.

“I was so happy when I was with him. And it was just so much fun going into those gay bars with him – oh my God!”