Celebrating Diversity & Inclusion: The Evolution of Gender-Neutral Pronouns
MetadataShow full item record
When the Supreme Court of the United States guaranteed the right to marry for same-sex couples in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, the issue of integrating the LGBTQ community into society was propelled into the national spotlight. While many same-sex partners, many of whom identify as cisgender (those who identify with the sex they were assigned at birth), are able to enjoy the tangible and psychological benefits of the ruling, the transgender and genderqueer communities continue to wait on a Supreme Court ruling in which they are able to celebrate with as much fervor. Thus, the acceptance of gender-neutral pronouns has become an important stepping stone for achieving equality for the transgender and genderqueer communities. In order to achieve this goal, it is important to determine how to convince society of embracing the concept of pronoun introductions. Therefore, this thesis will be analyzing trends in the use of gender-neutral pronouns in the English language, since gender-neutral pronouns help break down systems inherent in language in order to form new ones. I will first discuss the histories and challenges of integrating gender-neutral pronouns into the English vernacular. Then, I will explore the physical and virtual spaces in which gender-neutral pronouns are used, especially as introductions. Finally, I will examine Internet slang in virtual spaces in order to suggest the Internet as a medium of linguistic transformation that can affect physical spaces as well.
Lim, Todd Raschen (2016). Celebrating Diversity & Inclusion: The Evolution of Gender-Neutral Pronouns. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from