Who are we?
We are a group of anonymous trans & autistic people that have gotten together to run a small study regarding neopronouns/xenogenders, after encountering a carrd that has been roaming around twitter for a while now, and felt extremely invalidated and not represented by it, and in some cases, even endangered by the unbased affirmations it spreads.
Due to the current dangers of voicing our opinion publicly (death threats, etc) we have decided to make this carrd to educate people on the harm they might be doing without knowing, without exposing the people that have worked on this.
What are pronouns?
A personal pronoun is a short word we use as a simple substitute for the proper name of a person. Each of the English personal pronouns shows us the grammatical person, gender, number, and case of the noun it replaces. I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us, and them are all personal pronouns.
In short, pronouns exisit to represent a part of the population and supposed to tell somebody about a part of your identity. ie: she/her? probably feminine aligned. he/him? probably masculine aligned. They/them? most definitely nb or gender neutral.
The origin of neopronouns
The idea of neopronouns was invented by two cis people, Kelly Ann Sippell in "Solving the Great Pronoun Problem" (1934) and Charles C. Converse (1858), who coined the pronoun "thon", short for "that one".
"Thon" in specific, is defined by it's author as a pronoun to designate him, her, or it, leaving no space for gnc people, other than to assume a pronoun usually used for objects, which is on itself a big problem in the community, and leaves no wonder as to why it was rejected by gnc / nb people in the past.
None of the neopronouns coined by these people had any effect in society, in favor of the use of the singular "they/them", which has been in use six centuries as a gender neutral pronoun and has been a general consensus for gnc and nb people in general.
In short, when you call a trans person transphobic because they reject neopronouns, you are calling them transphobic for rejecting something cis people have imposed onto us with no actual regard for our needs or comfort.
The origin of Tumblr Neopronouns (nounpronouns) is tumblr user Baaphomet, who is not neurodivergent but neuroatypical. Yet again, non neurodivergent people deciding what's best for us.
Autism and gender
Autistic people are perfectly capable of understanding social constructs, because everything in society is a construct, not just identity, but time, language, education... in fact, we all grow up with the idea of gender implemented into our education.
There's no sources that claim we are more prone to having trouble understanding social constructs, but rather adhering to them, or applying them to ourselves.
Because someone is diagnosed with an autism spectrum condition does not mean that person is less capable of determining their own sexual orientation or gender identity
At the same time, being autistic doesn't make us not be able to be insensitive, transphobic or ableist ourselves, which is what neopronouns are.
In fact, due to our disability, we are prone to embracing movements such as neopronouns because we feel embraced by a small community, and want to feel different for reasons other than our diagnosis, however by doing this we are invalidating another minority, and taking their resources away.
There's many studies on gender and autism you can educate yourself with! I will provide just a few below.
Please read the following links!
Why are neopronouns & xenogenders harmful?
Words are invented to cover for a necessity, and it is not a necessity to have the world know you like dogs, or cats, or stars, or a kpop idol. They don't work in society, only on the internet, which makes them non valid. As a side note, it is insulting and even racist to use kpop stars as your gender, not only because you're turning a person's identity into something "non human" but also because many people often need to change their original names upon emigrating, only for people to fetishize their real names like this.
At the same time, people who use them often call trans people transphobic simply for showing concern about the topic. Trans people have been shunned, harassed, and received death threats, as have autistic people who do not agree with neopronouns/xenogenders, which often leads to great anxiety and/or depressive fits, might even lead to people excluding trans people from their own communities.
They cause trans people to get harassed (even more!) as they are the literal origin of the attack helicopter meme which has been super harmful to the community. Makes people think you can "choose" your identity and turn it into something it isn't (such as an interest or a hobby), which is also the reason why conversion therapy exists!
The original carrd implies cis people can use them, which is not a necessity for them, since they aren't trans, and makes pronouns seem or feel like an accessory, rather than something that reflects your gender identity. It's disrespectful as trans people struggle everyday with getting their pronouns respected.
They invisibilize the movements trans and nb people have been trying to push of encouraging people to accept gender neutral pronouns in their languages, such as singular they/them, ele/dele elu/delu in Portuguese, or elle in Spanish.
Emoji pronouns and special font pronouns are ableist on itself, because visually impaired people who need text to speech tools cannot understand them, and are therefore exclusive and insensitive.
The way the original carrd is phrased it seems to speak in the name of all autistic and trans people, and this is very far from the truth. A lot of us find it upsetting and invalidating.
Update! - A lot of people with ADHD and reading impairments such as dyslexia have reported great issues with using and learning all the neopronouns, people with memory issues find it extremely hard to remember every single personalized pronoun, which is also ableist. As a response whenever they communicate their difficulties, they get told to "practice them".
Labels are not really made for individual comfort. They are made to communicate an information. Some austistic people have found it hard to understand the implications of neopronouns and xenogenders due to the fact that they serve no real purpose in communication, which some of us already find ourselves struggling with.
The idea that "pronouns have nothing to do with your gender" essentially means misgendering isn't a thing, when it's very much a struggle for a lot of trans people, and a big source of anxiety for most of us.
Us neurodivergent people already struggle to fully comprehend the social implications of traditional genders, and making a never ending list of genders and pronouns with no real definition or place in society makes it even harder for us to find a real place to belong. It also makes it harder for us to function and learn to be ourselves in the real world
The idea that gender is a social construct invalidates the experiences of trans people. Gender has been scientifically proven to be present in our brains.
We aren't making this to hurt anybody but rather as a response to the harm both neurodivergent people and trans people are receiving due to all the death threats, insults and harassment a lot of people have received due to people simply not having all the information on this issue.
Regardless of if you agree or not with our points, no one should engage in that kind of behaviour.
Please don't be transphobic / ableist, stop harassing autistic and trans people over this.
Thank you for reading, we hope you have a wonderful day<3
PS: This is a lot of info! We have tried to make this easy to read and understand for everybody, included people with reading issues. Let us know if this needs changing! we will be keeping an eye on feedback through twitter :)
We wanted to thank everyone for the warm welcome this has received, we have seen a lot of autistic and trans people, as well as allies, feel validated and at peace thanks to this carrd. Thank you everyone for sharing, we see you, we read you, and we keep your feedback in mind. To those who have gotten harassed simply for starting a conversation, please, stay strong. We love you. You don't deserve hate or death threats for discussing an important topic <3
To those making fun of people going private due to your harassment, I don't know what to tell you. Perhaps your disrespect isn't only targeted at us neurodivergent people, but to our supporters too.
we will be updating as needed<3
Greetings all! We took a short break but we're back to correct the carrd with new info ! Like we said, please feel free to keep giving us feedback through twitter by reposting this link, we will find your comments!
The Spanish version is being revised and fixed, as it wasn't our candidate translator's mother tongue, thank you to everyone who has pointed out the errors <3