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After having “she/her” in their bio for a few months, Halsey officially changed their pronouns to “she/they” this weekend, being met with lots of love and support from fans. Hours after fans noticed the change, Halsey posted a “thank u” message on her Instagram story.

For those who aren’t knowledgeable on the concepts of gender and pronouns, it can be confusing to figure out how to start educating yourself, but it’s important to do so to support the trans community, as well as cisgender people, or people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, who may just want to use different pronouns. 

Someone who uses she/they pronouns is okay with being referred to as both “she” and “they,” though some people may have a preference for a certain set of pronouns over the other – it’s always best to ask if you’re unsure! You can use both pronouns in one sentence or alternate between using them. Here are some examples:

  • “Halsey is so honest in her music! I love the connection they have with their fans.”
  • “Halsey opening up about their pronouns will help her fans who use multiple pronouns feel less alone.”
  • “Halsey changed her pronouns recently, I’m so proud of them!”

People who use she/they pronouns may identify as nonbinary, which usually means they don’t feel particularly attached to being a man or a woman. Nonbinary people might also identify partly with a certain gender, such as the one they were assigned at birth, but not fully, which is the case for many people who use she/they or he/they pronouns.

However, there are also many cisgender people who are okay with using the neutral “they” pronouns in addition to their gendered pronouns. This can help normalize using they/them pronouns for people without putting pressure on nonbinary or trans people.

In recent years, social media activists have pointed out the importance of putting your pronouns in your account bios. Trans people putting pronouns in their bio inadvertently put themselves at risk of hatred and violence simply for expressing themselves, since transphobes assumed anyone with their pronouns listed were transgender. One of the easiest ways for cisgender people to support the trans community is to add their pronouns to their bios. That way, it normalizes this practice and makes it less dangerous for trans people to do so.

And perhaps most important of all, someone else’s pronouns and/or gender identity have nothing to do with you. It’s okay to not understand it, but your confusion doesn’t mean they’re confused about their own feelings and you should never treat someone’s identity as an inconvenience to you. Here are some more resources you can check out to help educate yourself on pronouns and gender identity:

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