Trans 101: Gender neutral language

Gender neutral language is a way of speaking that doesn't specify gender, the opposite of gendered language. Here are the substitutions of gender neutral vocabulary for gendered.

 Feminine Masculine
 She  He
 Her  Him
 Wife  Husband
 Mother  Father
 Girlfriend Boyfriend
 Partner or significant other
 Sister  Brother
 Daughter  Son
 Child or offspring
 Woman Man
 Person or human being

Gender neutral words have a couple advantages. Most transexualsTrans 101: Transexual don't start one day presenting in their new gender and stay there everyday. They may switch back and forth depending on the situation. They may present in their old gender for family events or job interviews. People who are bigender and genderqueer may do this a lot. Being gender neutral means never addressing them in a way that offends them or outs them

Speaking gender neutrally is also a good compromise between trans people who affirm their gender identity and those who don't. For example, many women are uncomfortable referring to their transgender mate as their "wife" but the mate may feel rejected being called "husband." Using "spouse" is an excellent way to respect both people.

Subpages (1): Trans 101: Out