What is the issue with using they, them, theirs as singular pronouns? I just don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong. I have my grammar pet peeves and one is the misuse of pronouns such as he, him, her, she, me and I. But this to respect someone’s chosen pronoun? What difference does it make to someone else?
When a person is genderqueer, non-binary, or gender non-conforming and they chose they, them, theirs as their pronouns, that is their prerogative. Who am I to question that? For me, it’s the same as my preferring to be called Susan and not Sue.
I just read this great article by Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Be sure to check it out. Here is a taste.
“We will note that they has been in consistent use as a singular pronoun since the late 1300s; that the development of singular they mirrors the development of the singular you from the plural you, yet we don’t complain that singular you is ungrammatical…”
“Adopting the already-singular they is not quite as newfangled as it seems: we have evidence in our files of the nonbinary they dating back to 1950, and it’s likely that there are earlier uses of the nonbinary pronoun they out there.”
So, if you’re the parent of a non-binary child or a non-binary person and people tell you using they is not proper English, show them this article and tell them to get over it!