Welcome to the complete They Is My Pronoun archive!
For eight years, TIMP was hub of information about gender-neutral person pronouns of reference, as they were beginning to emerge into common usage. Readers came to TIMP with questions about how to navigate pronouns like singular they for one person, and before a generation of young Standard English speakers would grow into adolescence already having this ability.
TIMP’s readership peaked in 2017 at 30,000 unique visitors and declined steadily thereafter, likely because of an abundance of wonderful pronoun resources springing into being. Increasingly, I would direct Tumblr question askers to posts where I had already answered their questions. Questions also began to be more personal, with visitors asking me whether or not they were ‘really’ their gender identity, which of course is not for me to say. Between directing some readers to prior posts, and directing others to resources, the original purpose of TIMP has drifted as, amazingly, societal recognition of and facility with gender-neutral pronouns (particularly singular they) has expanded.
In 2018, on the strength of TIMP, I was contacted by an editor at Adams Media (An Imprint of Simon & Schuster) and contracted to write Gender: Your Guide – A Gender-Friendly Primer on What to Know, What to Say, and What to Do in the New Gender Culture. This book is TIMP between two covers, and contains everything I have learned about navigating gender diversity in everyday life, pronouns included. It is the best of, and more than, TIMP.
And so, today on June 14th 2020, after a remarkable eight years in the life of gender diversity, I am archiving TIMP for good. Everything will remain here for the years to come, but I will no longer receive visitor questions or comments here or on TIMP’s Tumblr.
TIMP has been part of a gender language revolution, and I am grateful to every one of my visitors for making this happen alongside me.
Original TIMP Welcome
Whereas many blogs or news stories on singular they as a gender-neutral pronoun are invested in the debate as to whether ‘they’ as a singular pronoun is grammatically correct, TIMP is different.
Instead of focusing on grammar, TIMP focuses on actually using singular they in real life, and on enabling the choice to use gender-neutral pronouns for yourself or for others.
TIMP is dedicated to a few simple ideas:
1. You are not a bad person or homophobic or transphobic or ignorant just because using they stresses you out.
There are many reasons why using they as a singular pronoun is hard. TIMP is about recognizing this and exploring where resistance comes from. TIMP offers suggestions for working through difficulty, and not arguments about why it shouldn’t be difficult.
2. When people respect your choice of pronoun, this feels really good – good enough to make a big difference in someone’s quality of life and well-being.
Most people who have not had to ask others to use a particular pronoun do not realize how good it can feel when someone gets it right, or shows you they are trying. You can generate so much happiness, make such a large contribution to someone’s well-being, and even make someone feel better about being in a workplace or group or get-together, just by using the pronoun they ask for, and apologizing when you make a mistake. You can make someone want to come back to your office, clinic, store, house, or Facebook page. It is truly astonishing what a difference this can make.
3. Using they gets easier with practice and time, and it is worth it.
So, scroll on down and stay tuned to TIMP for answers to questions (which I accept, even anonymously, on my twin Tumblr site)* from users, allies and curious questioners of all kinds, reflections and resources on singular they!
*TIMP’s Tumblr no longer accepts questions.