As much as I try, I cannot write in gender-neutral language for two reasons:
- It is confusing to me and, likely, to you the reader. For example:
“The peace is broken. ‘Can we just leave the driver back there – two blocks ago?’, I ask. In the moment, I know that I am a hypocrite, that I did the same thing at the restaurant earlier: let the intrusions of the City poke at me until I was lashing out, dividing people into us/them. They know it too but say nothing.”
Who is “they”? The people in the restaurant? My partner? If it’s unclear to me as I edit posts, it likely is unclear to others.
- My experience of the world – now more than ever – is rooted in my being a cisgender, heterosexual woman. Yep, that’s what I am. My “partner” – husband (or “the hub”) of decades – is a cisgender, heterosexual man. At some point during the next year, I imagine that I will have an experience tied to being a woman in the world. It seems silly to keep this going only to clarify at some undetermined point in the future.
I will continue to use gender-neutral pronouns (i.e, they, their and them) when speaking generally about my patients and work stress.
G’d, I feel much better now. It was too fucking complicated and wasn’t true to who I am – she, her, hers.
Thank you as I grow and learn.