I’m agender. It’s not a big deal; to me it’s just like saying “I’m blond”. I don’t identify with either “man” or “woman”, so I like to joke that I just opt-out of gender. I don’t feel like I have a third, different gender either (I’m also not of a culture that has a third gender, so I wouldn’t call myself that regardless). And I don’t feel “in-between”. I just… don’t feel like I have a gender. That’s not a thing that applies to me.
I’ve grown up with society putting me in the “female” role/category, and my body is definitely female-shaped, so I’m generally very quickly read as “she”. And for convenience, I go with it. Personally I find ‘they’ hard to handle grammar-wise, and I don’t want to have to explain to every new person my specific version of “ze/ey” (however, if someone I know/meet uses these of course I’ll respect that, it’s just not something I want to do at this time). So, “she” it is.
And of course, now we’re popularizing pronouns in introductions, so I introduce myself and have to decide… “she”, which would cause the least friction but also put me in a “cis woman” bucket, or “they”, which would accurately reflect my (lack of) gender but feels awkward and obvious? Like I’m trying to be noteworthy. Being me, I opt for “she”.
This leads to another issue though, because now people think they know my gender, and it’s OK to use gendered nouns. This is… not okay with me. “lady” is the worst (like, “ladies first”), but really anything gendered just feels wrong. It’s like… “you are making an assumption and you are wrong.”
But without doing a “they” pronoun shortcut, how do I indicate that I’d prefer gender neutral language used for me? Should the pronoun intro now also come with a “she, but…”?
Like, I just want to introduce myself, not have the what even is gender conversation.