If you haven’t had a chance to freshen up on the latest gender pronoun trend, be sure to do so by visiting a Starbucks near you. There you’ll be warmly greeted by your barista, who might be your standard he or she but could be he/they, she/they, or they/them. On another visit you might encounter ze/hir or ze/zer, or perhaps even xe/xem or ze/zim or sie/her; and, oh yeah, I almost forgot about pir too. It’s sort of like going to McDonald’s as a kid and ordering a happy meal, eagerly waiting to discover what new treat/toy they/them or ze/zer has put inside your box. If you’re confused, don’t worry—that makes two of us. Or does it? You can always purchase your own personal gender pronoun pocket guide in the event you fail to remember whether he is a she or she is a he or he and she are they/them. But let the buyer beware. By the time you finish reading your copy, you’ll want to look for a fresh edition straight off the press to address the growing list.
On one of my latest visits to Starbucks with my wife, Heather, I was met by a lady, or rather they/them, who after taking my order said, “It’ll be right up, sir.” I’m not sure why she assumed I was a man. What if I felt like a pir? But I took no offense. However, out of genuine curiosity, I struck up a friendly conversation with they/them and said, “I noticed you called me ‘sir.’ And typically, we use sir or ma’am for male and female adults, but what does they/them use for a title?” They/them said, “For the nonbinary person, it’s Mx, M.—or some people might prefer Misc.”
I wish I could say that was helpful, but it wasn’t. If anything, I found myself even more confused by the complete hack job of the English language taking place in our culture right now. On top of this, we’re strongly warned by some to not mis-gender people, as this may cause harm. Never mind the fact that they/them assumed I was male by calling me sir instead of pir. All that to say I find it ironic that even those who champion this pronoun discussion the most are guilty of breaking their own rules by assuming the obvious in terms of others when referring to people like me as sir.
If all this pronoun distinction is not enough to keep up with, we’re told that one’s gender pronoun doesn’t necessarily reveal one’s sexual preference. Just as gender is fluid, apparently one’s sexuality is, too. As I spoke with my barista that day, they/them schooled me on this topic, informing me as well that they/them (i.e., my barista) is pansexual, which basically means that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Although my barista is pansexual, there are other options as well. For example, there are others who might be ze/zer or ze/zim, and regarding sexual preferences they/them may be allosexual; autoromantic; autosexual; androsexual; curiosexual; and of course, asexual. If someone or someze is asexual, it’s important to know how to orient oneself on the asexual spectrum. That’s because you could be sex-averse, sex-favorable, cupiosexual, graysexual, or even libidoist asexual, to name a few options. But fear not, if the above list is too narrow-minded, the LGBTQIA2 has left a + sign on the end just for you.
I’d like to buy a vowel, please.
As Heather and I left Starbucks that day, we both felt overwhelmed by how much our country has changed. I guess we both felt a bit like Dorothy, who observed to Toto, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” It kind of feels like we are living in a foreign land these days. And I wish I could say that this pronoun-obsessed culture is our only problem.
Recommended resources related to the topic:
Correct, Not Politically Correct: About Same-Sex Marriage and Transgenderism 2023 Edition by Dr. Frank Turek Book
4 P’s & 4 Q’s: Quick Case FOR Natural Marriage & AGAINST Same-Sex Marriage (DVD) by Dr. Frank Turek
Bobby serves as lead pastor of Image Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is well known for his YouTube ministry called, One Minute Apologist, which now goes by the name Christianity Still Makes Sense. He also serves as the Co-Host of Pastors’ Perspective, a nationally syndicated call-in radio show on KWVE in Southern California. Bobby earned his Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, his Doctor of Ministry in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from the University of Birmingham (England), where he was supervised under David Cheetham and Yujin Nagasawa. Bobby’s also written several books, including The Fifth Gospel, Doubting Toward Faith, Does God Exist, and Fifty-One Other Questions About God and the Bible, and the forthcoming Christianity Still Makes Sense, to be published by Tyndale in April 2024. He’s married to his lovely wife Heather, and together they have two grown kids: Haley and Dawson.