She/her/hers and he/him/his are a few commonly used pronouns. Some people call these “female/feminine” and “male/masculine” pronouns, but many avoid these labels because not everyone who uses he feels like a “male” or “masculine.”
There are also lots of gender-neutral pronouns in use. Here are a few you might hear:
- They/them/theirs (Shea ate their food because they were hungry.) This is a pretty common gender-neutral pronoun and it can be used in the singular. In fact, “they” was voted as the Word of the Year in 2015.
- Ze/hir/hir (Tyler ate hir food because ze was hungry.) Ze is pronounced like “zee” can also be spelled zie or xe, and replaces she/he/they. Hir is pronounced like “here” and replaces her/hers/him/his/they/theirs.
- Just my name please! (Ash ate Ash’s food because Ash was hungry) Some people prefer not to use pronouns at all, using their name as a pronoun instead.
Never refer to a person as “it” or “he-she”. These are offensive slurs used against trans and gender non-conforming individuals.