Some of my relatives and friends tell me using they/them pronouns is a fad. It doesn't feel like a fad to me. What should I say?
Perhaps they feel this way because folks are using it more often…which is great! However, it is nothing new, nor will it go away. In fact the Oxford Dictionary traces singular “they” back to 1375.
And we know very clearly that Two-Spirit and LGBTQ people were accepted and highly revered in our tribal communities long before colonization happened. Unfortunately, one of the many devastating results of being forced to follow other people’s religion and practices was the removal of this overall acceptance and esteem we once held for our relatives. Remind your family and friends of this.
In order to honor our ancestors, we must remember and respect all our relatives. These identities aren't new, and they aren't passing. They're traditional, and they will endure, just as we have.
Know your ancestors and your community have your back!