They/them Pronouns Tutorial

This is a brief (approximately 2 hour) tutorial to increase familiarity with they/them pronouns.  These pronouns are often used by individuals who are gender non-conforming, gender neutral, nonbinary, or genderqueer. While many pronouns exist, this tutorial focuses specifically on they/them.  Gender non-conforming and nonbinary are, in this module, utilized as umbrella terms for a variety of identities that utilize gender neutral pronouns.

This short tutorial is designed to incorporate both why and how to use they/them pronouns.  It includes

  • basic definitions and information
  • examples of grammar and syntax
  • an exercise for gender reflection

It is designed for friends, peers, coworkers, and professionals who are working with gender non-conforming people or seeking to gain greater awareness of how to show respect for people who are gender non-conforming.  It incorporates both popular and academic materials and emphasizes materials created by individuals who identify as gender non-conforming or nonbinary.

Why this tutorial matters

One-third of the approximately 28,000 respondents to the 2015 U.S. Transgender survey identified as nonbinary.  A recent California study conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Study and Research and the UCLA School of Law found that 27% of the study respondents were identified as being gender non-conforming.  This study related the high frequency of gender non-conforming youth in California, and their general well-being, to nondiscrimination policies in the state.

While not all gender non-conforming or nonbinary individuals use gender neutral pronouns, becoming familiar with the use of pronouns and the concepts behind pronoun usage will create opportunities for more adroit dialogue and removes the burden of explanation from individual nonbinary people.  This module will help you build understanding and skills that convey recognition and respect to the gender non-conforming people you encounter.


To begin, click through to the next page – Definitions.