Sting’s 25-year-old daughter Eliot Sumner self-identifies as gender fluid


(As I started writing this, I leaned on Kaiser when I was having trouble writing sentences without traditional he/she pronouns for gender fluid individuals. She gave me this great website for reference. For this article, I will use the Ze/Zir pronoun when refer to Eliot Sumner, who identifies as gender fluid.)

Eliot Sumner is the 25-year-old daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler. Eliot followed Sting into the music business years ago. I am listening to a few tracks off Eliot’s new album, Information – they exhibit an interesting departure from I Blame Coco. After Dark and Firewood are pretty good; the compositions are nice. People talk about Sumner’s voice sounding more like zir father’s, Sting, but I think the whole sound has some undertones of early Police work. I feel a little bad saying that because Sumner wants to be judged on zir own merit, understandably. Sumner does understand the Sting comparisons, saying, “I think I’ll always be in the shadow of my parents. But that’s OK. Everyone has a challenge. If I’m proud of the music I am making, that’s all I can ask for. If I put it out into the world, it’s not up to me any more.”

In addition to promoting Information, Eliot also addresses zir two year relationship with model Lucie Von Alten and explains where ze comes down on gender identity:

She said she did not believe in  gender “labels” and preferred to dress down, shunning the glamour attached to some singers.

Asked whether she identified with a particular gender, she replied “no”, saying she defined herself simply as a “musician”. “I don’t believe in any specifications,” she said.

“I think forever I was trying to figure out maybe … what I am. But I don’t think anyone should feel pressured to have any kind of label or tag on them.

“We should treat everybody the same. Me, I don’t like to be put down to a specific thing. We’re all human beings.”

[From The Evening Standard]

Miley Cyrus‘, who also identifies as gender fluid, and Eliot’s reasoning differ from each other but both do a really good job explaining why they don’t identify with only one gender. I think if you can’t decide on a label, you shouldn’t have to use one. I find the way people describe themselves fascinating. Of the artists I know, they define themselves more through their art than anything else, so I can understand why Eliot would prefer to be identified as a musician than a gender.  I don’t; I write and I would love someone to think of me as a writer but it is not how I would describe myself unless someone asked me what I did for a living (or, as my mother in law would say, the way I waste my time).

We all grew up with labels – good ones, bad ones, ones you wanted to avoid, ones you desperately wanted affixed to you – I can see how we place too much emphasis on them. I don’t think we should get rid of them but I prefer people to identify themselves and not having to select from a limited group of pre-approved labels. Language is just more interesting when we create the correct expression rather than trying to shoehorn in one that already exists.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Getty.

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229 Responses to “Sting’s 25-year-old daughter Eliot Sumner self-identifies as gender fluid”

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  1. JKL says:

    Good for zir. Finding one’s way in the world is never easy, and commendable when achieved.

    • Kitten says:

      Zir? What is this?

      Is this a thing? OMG I am so old.

      • susiecue says:

        This is new to me! Is it really offensive to call Eliot “she” though?

      • AG-UK says:

        me too I am old too it seems.

      • Cindy says:

        Me too. I feel lost. I just finished an excellent book last night called Middlesex, which is about a hermaphrodite ( among other things). I am not sure if Eliot means she (zir) feels like both a male and female? Or maybe has hormones of both? Or maybe it is none of my business.

      • Pandy says:

        I am also too old for this. And why would you identify yourself by what you do? Hello, I’m Pandy and I’m a lingerie sales person. Wha??? Dehumanizing. If you take the arty “musician” out of the description and insert different professions, it’s silly.

      • Birdix says:

        My kid has a teacher whose gender preference I’m not certain about. If I started using ze to refer to the teacher, there’s an equally good chance that people’d think I was affecting a French accent as trying to be sensitive. I sincerely appreciate the effort, but couldn’t they come up with something a bit more mellifluous or at least something more distinct?

      • Reine_Didon says:

        I have lots of questions. So obviously ze have boobies, gets her period and could have a child if she wanted. But ze doesn’t identify as a woman. But then, ze doesn’t identify as a man neither. And ze is not a transgender person.
        So to recapitulate, ze looks like a woman but feels neither man nor woman. I honestly don’t think this is a big deal. You don’t have to like pink to be a woman or sports and beer to be a man. We as society are already past these stupid sterotypes.
        So all this gender-fluid drama are just teens trying to find new ways to shout out their diffrences. You look like a girl but you don’t have to act like a stereotype of a girl and that’s ok and perfectly acceptable. Doesn’t make you a new gender on your own.

      • kri says:

        Me too. I am in full support of LGBT issues, gender fluidity, etc. Whatever a person tell me is what I hear in these matters. I just never heard of “zir”. So a serious, sincere question…why is Eliot still being called “daughter”? Don’t the words “daughter ” or son imply gender in some way? No offense-just asking.

      • Anna says:

        Zir is a relatively new thing i believe. Just because some of you haven’t heard of it doesn’t make it any less valid. Some of you guys seem very judgemental and very quick to mock something you may not understand. Just because someone doesn’t get their period it doesn’t make them any less of a women and just because someone does get their period it doesn’t automatically make them a women. Your genitals don’t dictate your gender. Maybe some of you should wxplore new possibilities and ideas before you knock it.

      • lucy says:

        Pandy, I could not agree with you more.

        And what is wrong with the language s/he?

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        For folks who are new to these ideas, this is useful:

        The problem with He/She is that it is binary. The language presumes that you are either this or that, and a significant number of people just don’t work that way, and want to change the language to make it a little more welcoming of who they are.

        Before you jump up and say “You can’t do that!” take a moment to think about how much language has changed over the centuries. There is nothing wrong or unusual about change. Think of how people once started using “Ms.” instead of “Mrs” or “Miss,” and their reasons for doing so.

        I find zir/zie to be difficult, but good manners means using the names or pronouns people request. I can get used to it. My partner in gender fluid, and uses “he” most of the time. For myself, I use “they” and rewrite my sentences as plural as much as I can. I also have colleagues who in their signatures state their gender preferences– I would *love* it if everyone got in the habit of doing this, just as a matter of custom, even if they think their gender is “obvious” because it makes it that much easier for trans/nonbinary people to be open and make their preferences known.

      • Larelyn says:

        I’ve heard of the ze/zir thing (totally made up and not based in a language), but I’d rather use “they”. The pronoun “you” can be singular or plural, so why can’t “they”? I use it already when I’m talking about someone(s) when I don’t know their gender, and it is gender neutral by its basis in plurality. But eh… whatever works for the majority I guess.

      • GreenieWeenie says:

        I have been thinking about this too, ever since a female family member came out (and that was a surprise since she’d always dated men). It seems like a lot of men who identify as women, e.g. Bruce Jenner, identify with stereotypical female characteristics. But I don’t identify with huge breasts or wearing heels all day at all. Yet I’m still female. I almost get a vague sense that the transgender movement (speaking about male>female) risks reinforcing stereotypes about women, and I’m glad it’s being positioned within a larger discussion about feminism and gender fluidity and whatnot.

        I don’t ever feel especially female. I grew up around all men and I’ve worked around men. I tend to make friends more easily with men–or just really honest women–because I can’t really navigate the emotional complexities of a lot of female-female relationships. But none of this makes me less female; I was reminded of that when I had my first child.

        I don’t think I need a new pronoun. For all the talk of our new awareness about how gender and sexuality aren’t one and the same, or even linked, why do we need to create a new pronoun for gender when we’re referring to sexuality? Since when do we refer to people by their sexuality? Just wondering.

      • GreenieWeenie says:

        @Miss Jupitero, re: s/he as binary:
        but this is talking about she/he as a social construct. That is one context for pronoun usage but it is not the only context. S/he also refers to your reproductive status/function. That’s why we use these terms to refer to animals, say. There are no social constructs at work when we refer to a lioness as a she, are there? I think we’re just referring to her role in the reproductive cycle.

        The connotations of language are complex. I don’t take issue with the creation of new pronouns per se. But I will point out that Ms. serves a function in that it removes marital status from public assessment, whereas the creation of new pronouns for various identities actually brings them into public assessment. Personally, I don’t think someone else’s sexuality or marital status is my business. I think it’s efficient to refer to someone in the manner they appear and if it’s not immediately obvious–suggesting the person doesn’t *want* to be referred to one way or another–I’d probably just ask them what they prefer.

        I think the basic issue is respect for other human beings. I’d rather that not get too weighed down in my personal acknowledgement of someone’s special sneauxflake sexuality/gender (yay, Millennials. I’m glad you’re changing the world. Just please don’t ask me to applaud you personally at every turn).

      • Dangles says:

        I’m actually sharing an office with a trans person right now and even he says all this gender fluid, they instead of him/her stuff is getting ridiculous. While I was reading this article I told him that even Miley Cyrus identifies as gender fluid and his response was “Of course she does. It’s incredibly trendy at the moment.”

      • bluhare says:

        Dangles: thank you. I think so too. I remember when women was supposed to be rewritten womyn to get “men” out of it and identify as a separate unconnected gender. That didn’t stick. Maybe this will; I don ‘t know. Some languages have a neuter pronoun. Some don’t. English does, but it’s only used in regards to inanimate objects. Personally, I’d like to wait and see if this sticks before I start changing my language usage.

      • Anna says:

        @Larelyn I prefer “they” as well though, of course, it is up to the person about whom one is referring to state their preferred pronoun and for us to respect that. It is confusing but as others have noted, this is part of the normal shift and flow of culture and language, adaptation to new modes of thought and being. My only issue has been when an acquaintance–who I saw actually quite regularly in an extended group of friends over some years–transitioned and took on a new name. Once when we had been partying, I accidentally used the former first name, and this individual became so evil toward me. It was just an accident–like for both work and play, I had known this person for years under the former name–but they were so mean about it. Maybe it was the new influence of testosterone but I just feel that people who are taking on a whole new identity–new for those around them, not necessarily new for them–should have a little patience with their friends and colleagues who do not make a mistake out of malice but just habit. But maybe it’s just me…

      • Snappyfish says:

        I’m Sting & Trudie’s daughter, here’s an odd tidbit for you to think about , now go listen to my music….I’d never heard of Eliot before…now I have & that was the point of this exercise

    • Sarah01 says:

      Completely agree. It’s a really complex world out there and the best you can do in navigating through this complex world is to be yourself. You should define yourself not others.
      I can’t stand miley so anything she says I dismiss it, because she’s a major famewhore and is very kardashianesque.
      Summer is stunning, looks alot like sting. Beautiful cheekbones. Gorgeous all round.

      • zoem says:

        Some people still don’t get that gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and genitals are all different things, and one doesn’t cause the others to be impacted.

      • GreenieWeenie says:

        @zoem, I don’t pretend to know the difference between them all (or maybe I do, Idk). A lot of education has caused me to realize I will never be educated about everything.

        But while I accept people who say this–people who have clearly spent a lot of their lives grappling with these issues and so therefore have a great deal of personal insight into them–I also suspect that the literature has not caught up to your statement. Just the list of variables alone up…this requires a lot of study to establish. If some people “don’t get it,” surely that’s understandable.

        I suspect society has misunderstood the causes for gender identity/sexuality. But it’s one thing to say a causal relationship doesn’t exist…it’s another to say there is no relationship.

    • Wondering says:

      If it’s ze, shouldn’t it be zim, zis? Isn’t the z representing the female part of the pronoun and then the rest of it represents the masculine? That is both represented in the new pronoun, but together they neutralize, thus neutral? Zir seems feminine to me. Who knows. Who decides. The evolution of language is always interesting.

      • Lucrezia says:

        It’s not pronounced zir to rhyme with her, it’s a long vowel sound … zir sounds like zhere. (Which honestly is just asking for trouble, because that’s not anyone’s first guess at pronunciation. They need to go back and look at the spelling.)

        I don’t think the z is supposed to be feminine. I’m not 100% sure, but I pretty confident that the original was xe/xem/xyr or xe/xem/xyr… because X has always been a common non-descriptive placeholder e.g.., “insert X here”. But Xe basically sounds like ze, so the spelling shifted.

    • Moi says:

      Re-read the first paragraph that is in italics. It’s explained there.

    • senna says:

      I wish ‘zir’ didn’t jump out at me so much – it’s purely the fact that I haven’t read a lot of descriptions of genderfluid people using these pronouns. I look forward to the time when my eyes will breeze right over ‘zir/ze’ because of familiarity.

    • Shirleygail says:

      Why not “Zer” and/or Zim? At least there would be some consistency in the language we are making up with the language we already have. But Zir? Means nothing to me, and I’ve been gender fluid my whole life. Still female. Gender fluidity is not necessarily about what outside at all!

    • Carol says:

      I get Eliot’s gender fluid thing, but I can’t get Miley Cyrus claim on that. Miley seems to be very girlie and seems to have identified herself as a girl ever since she was a young celeb. Now she claims she likes girls. Doesn’t that just make her bi? It doesn’t automatically make her gender fluid. Whatevs.

      • zoem says:

        Gender fluidity and sexual orientation are different things. Miley is pansexual (not bisexual, the difference being not just men or women but anything in the spectrum including trans attraction). Just because she looks feminine in outeard appearance and dress (gender expression) doesn’t mean that’s how she feels inside (gender identity).

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        Also gender expression is different from gender and sexuality. You can identify as a woman, be attracted to women, and have a very masculine (“butch”) aesthetic. You can also be gender fluid, bisexual, and also get into a “high femme” aesthetic. And so on.

      • Wilma says:

        What Zoem says I used to find reasonable, but since my sibling came out as genderfluid and prefers the pronouns bun/bunself, at least on days when the otherkin doesn’t take precedent I’m pretty much done with this whole conversation. Sibling is born female, identified as lesbian until the girl sibling liked said that she was more into trans boys (with a certain aestethic), then my hyperfeminine sibling was transexual all of a sudden and wanting sex-reassingment surgery. Except that the hyperfeminity stayed and no psychologist was willing to sign off on the transition. The transboy-loving girl dissapeared, but my sibling had already declared to the world that they were in fact a boy. Genderfluid must have seemed a good solution, still being able to wear girly dresses, lots of make-up and heels and yet forcing everyone around to call you a boy, or even better, making up your own pronouns (they used to change daily).

        I still get most concepts and understand why and how these work, but saying that you feel male and expressing this in one thing and one thing only: your pronouns, simply seems like a cop-out to me. My sibling is part of Tumblr crowd and I see these things all the time on tumblr. It does not feel genuine to me. Especially with the otherkin stuff now mixed in. It pisses me off too, because of the struggles actual genderfluid and trans people go through.

    • Nerdista says:

      “Language is just more interesting when we create the correct expression rather than trying to shoehorn in one that already exists.” I love this.

  2. What a beautiful face. Holy crap.

    I love the conversations about gender fluidity, transgender and all of the wide spectrum we as humans fall under. It’s really refreshing.

    I hadn’t listened to the music before, and I find the voice a bit haunting.

  3. Lk says:

    Am i the only person who find this whole gender fluid thing ridiculous?

    We are not amoebas, we are people. We have genders. Deal with it

    You are a male. Fine. Make the best of it.
    You are a female. Fine. Make the best of it.
    You have both. Fine. Make the best of it.
    Genders are not liabilities.

    • Wellllllllll. What about people who are born with both sexes and the doctor decides for them?

      Gender roles are NOT that cut and dried. So, no, not ridiculous in my mind.

      Who is to say they aren’t making the best of it? They are born female and decide to say they don’t necessarily regard themselves as so, so they make the best of it by saying they are something else.

      Hmmmm. Much to think about.

    • Shambles says:

      Sex is a biological fact, gender is a concept

      • Nikki Girl says:

        Word. Exactly. I completely understand and relate to gender fluidity. And who cares if someone identifies with one, neither, or both?

      • Lk says:

        @shambles thanks for the clarification. I just googled the difference between the word sex and gender. I must say that i have been using them interchangeably all this time.

      • Shambles says:

        LK, no probz. It’s only recently that I started thinking critically about the difference between the two. I can’t say I understand it completely, but I have nothing but love for people being exactly who they are, whatever that may mean to them.

      • Stef Leppard says:

        Interesting! Thanks, shambles.

      • SloaneY says:

        I have a question. If someone is actively trying to change their biology through hormones or surgery, then why are they transgender and not transsexual, since sex is biology and gender is just a concept?

      • Redd says:

        By gender you mean self-identification? Social classification ie masculine, feminine, androgynous? As opposed to male/female?

        Some of that is hormonal, too, governed by our sex organs. A transwoman may have been born male, but she will take female hormones in order to help her identify as the woman she identifies herself to be. Hormones can influence drive, and a lot of other stuff.

        I just don’t think it’s so clear cut.

        Our biology isn’t changing, people have always been this or that, it’s just the social conversation within our culture that’s changing. (I wonder if people will ever say orientation-fluid! That’s a landmine!)

        I have an aunty who lives in a non-western country that hasn’t had a women’s movement, is very gender defined, and she finds American values about feminism positively horrifying (“why do you want to be like a man? women are fine the way they are! It is good to be a woman!”)

        I think a lot of it comes from cultural starting point.

      • Lucrezia says:

        @ SloaneY: someone going the full sex reassignments surgery route would indeed be transsexual.

        But not everyone who’s trans wants all the surgery. It’s considered rude to fixate on whether or not someone’s having/had genital surgery.

        So “transgender” is often preferred. It’s an umbrella terms that’s more inclusive, and doesn’t focus on just the genitalia.

    • Moxie Remon says:

      I think that when you approach the situation this way, you’re erasing a person’s right to come and go. I mean, it might be hard to understand, but I think that there’s got to have a better understanding and better way to deal with this, because after all, life is not black and white and it’s great that we can now celebrate this.

    • Snazzy says:

      I’m not necessarily tired of it but I’ll be honest in saying I don’t fully understand it.
      In the end I just say live and let live …

      • Seek says:

        Can I self identify as a zebra?

      • Tiny Martian says:

        I’m tired of it, quite frankly. Not because I don’t understand it, but mainly because I just don’t care. Honestly, I really don’t care how anyone self-identifies! I’m not even vaguely interested. I’ve got enough on my own plate without worrying about the gender or sexuality of every celebrity or other stranger that makes a declaration. As far as I’m concerned, everyone should just live how they want to live, it makes absolutely no difference to me.

    • Crowdhood says:

      Actually what you are referring to is the “sex” of a person as in their physical characteristics. Gender is a social construct and so it would
      Make sense that there were some variations. It’s ok if you don’t understand, I don’t either. But I also think to myself “does it matter if I understand?” And the answer is no. However somebody wants to live their life is fine with me and should be ok with all of us!

      • NN says:

        Um, race is a social construct too but you don’t see anyone thinking someone of a different “race” identifying as another “race” as being OK, we look at them as mentally ill.

      • Anna says:

        @NN Right. And this is a whole other side of the conversation. I am very interested in the role of privilege in this conversation about gender identity as well. Dealing with race will always get the shaft for the next big issue. No one wants to address the complexities and horror of race issues…

    • Gabrielle says:

      I just find it so confusing. I’m not trying to be ignorant at all but what is “gender” at this point?

      I always thought it was the parts you were born with that define that. If you get an operation and change that ok, now you’re another gender I get that too.

      But gender fluid? Does that mean, in this case, you were born female, you are not attracted to men and you don’t consider yourself a girly girl? Now you have no gender? I don’t really get that I think you’re still a woman. You don’t have to act a certain way or do certain things to be a woman.

      Caitlyn Jenner transitioned into a woman and got a glam room. I have no such room in my house. Am I not a woman?

      I’m really not trying to be ignorant. I feel everyone of course should have the right to live the way they want. I just never heard of this until recently and it’s confusing. Sorry.

      • Embee says:

        I don’t necessarily understand it, either, but ze and Miley have made me think about it as pertains to my life. I am female sexed. I am heterosexual and attracted to men. Many of my mannerisms and social interactions read “male”. I can’t tell you why, but over and over I’ve heard things like “You were meant to have a penis.” and “You’re like a 300lb man trapped in a hot girl body.” Etc. I think I am running into social concepts of femininity and masculinity where I don’t conform. But I also present as traditionally feminine sometimes (in my dress and affect) and get called cute. I’m not worried about these variations but for someone who maybe slides further each direction on the masculinity/femininity scale they would bristle at labels, especially because we live in a society where traditional gender roles were particularly harmful to the female gender (although it is true it hurts males as well).

      • Lurker says:

        I am with you Gabrielle. Maybe I am just old. 😉

        Do want you want, whatever. I will say that I find Miley Cyrus’s gender fluidity a tad stunt-like. But to each their own.

      • Naya says:

        I think the bulk of these conversations would be eliminated if people just stopped clinging to 1950s gender binaries. I mean what does “You were meant to have a penis even mean” if not just “you are failing to constrain yourself to the little pink box”. The vast majority of us are “gender fluid” in some way or other, because only a handful of people are naturally inclined to everything associated to their gender and nothing outside of it.

        Transgenderism is of course a much deeper discussion. I would personally argue that as society shifts away from the “girls are only like this and boys are only like that” paradigm, you may see a reduction in actual transitions. Having said that, I am no psychologist, so I could be off by a mile.

      • M79 says:

        Regarding any of this being faddish, this is nothing new. Gender fluidity is not a 21st century concept. Gender neutral people have always existed. Some indian tribes had words for them such as “two spirit”, people who embodied both female and male characteristics (they were often seen as spiritual leaders of the tribe as they could embody some of the best of both). Cultural reactions may differ, but male or female every population has people who don’t neatly fit into little pink and blue boxes. Gender is after all a social construct an exists on a spectrum, not unlike sexual orientation (think Kinsey scale of the 1940s). Language and words also change and evolve constantly, that’s a normal part of vocal exchanges.

        As far as this being stunt-like, I have to be honest and say I’m tired of people being so reductive towards those who are out about where they fall on the gender binary or sexual orientation spectrum (two totally different things). These people are taking huge risks doing so and making their lives infinitely more difficult in doing so, there are far easier ways for them to pull stunts that won’t expose them to hate, judgment, or ridicule.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Exactly M79.

    • jugstorecowboy says:

      No, but I might have agreed with you ten years ago as the whole conversation makes me feel pretty old and out of date.

      But I have a kid who from toddlerhood was more “boy”-ish, and now she talks (sometimes) about wanting a penis but bought an extreme pink winter coat (it makes it so easy to find her!). She is exploring gender identity (without shame!) in a way that I would have never dreamed, and even if I did it would have made me an outcast. My kid has enough social problems, and I’m extremely grateful that in this day and age her gender identity doesn’t seem to be one. She proudly wears a clip-on tie over her Monster High shirt and looks amazing.

      I’m so happy she has role-models like this, and she (or ze?) can be whatever she chooses.

      • claire says:

        I don’t get why any of that requires a new gender label. That’s my issue with it. It just feels like people reallllly want to be a special snowflake, be different. That’s my thing – the amount of labels for genders that are popping up are a bit silly, IMO. Though I appreciate that people feel that there are limitless possibilities of how to be, as a person, in their gender.

      • jugstorecowboy says:

        I get that, claire, but I also don’t mind being called “her, “she,” or “that lady over there.” Our language doesn’t have a gender-neutral pronoun. And for people who have suffered the shame and stigma of being different, I’ll happily recognize that I don’t understand and call them whatever makes them comfortable.

        That said, I do feel like Herve Villechaize in Fantasy Island saying “ze plane!”

      • MC2 says:

        Jugstorecowboy- but we do have gender neutral pronoun- “they”. This article is the first I have ever heard of Ze or Zir- this is totally new to me. What about rather then saying “she is xxx…” we just said “they are xxxx…”?

      • GreenieWeenie says:

        ^^plus many languages DO have gender-neutral pronouns. This is why Chinese people frequently mix up s/he in English–because they’re not used to gendered pronouns.

        Which just goes to show you: there’s no mandate for language to represent all possibilities all the time.

      • Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

        Adopt the German pronoun: Es.. Girl (Mädchen) in German is neutral.. So…
        I really don’t understand and it’s difficult to keep up with it all the changes, so if I ever make a mistake, sorry, but it’s not on purpose, or lazziness or whatever. People are just making things too confusing…
        How to keep up with everything in every culture around the world?

        *feeling old*

    • MC2 says:

      Sex is what you were born with & gender is how you want to live in the world. No- you are not the only one who finds this “ridiculous” just look at the rate that trans people have violence perpetrated on them.

      • Lk says:

        Just because i find a concept is a fad or ridiculous does not mean i wish the person any harm. I like people because of their heart, not because of what is underneath their clothes.

      • MC2 says:

        Lk- I do not think you wish anyone harm & sorry if I implied that. These ideas & comments support the notion that what a trans person is doing is a “fad” or “ridiculous” which in turn supports the notion that they are ridiculous which in turn supports the idea that they are less then which in turn helps people who do wish them harm to feel justified. I found your comment “am I the only one” and “make the best of it” to be judgmental. And your comment smacks of disrespect- I also don’t care what is underneath people’s clothes OR how they would like to identify. I could give a rip. Me- I was born female & have always identified as a girl/woman. I could not care less what someone else wants to identify as. Why judge? Why say “make the best of it”? Who cares? I don’t care if someone was born a male & wants to identify as a female- it’s no skin off my back. You say that you look at someone’s heart but then you post a comment that people should identify a certain way & make the “best of it” which in turn is putting them down. It was a disrespectful comment- sorry but it was.

    • Kitten says:

      Not me. I think it’s interesting, even if it makes me feel a bit…ancient.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      What does make the best of it even mean?

      “Pretend to be happy dressing as something you don’t like for all the people in the world who neither know or care about you. Gotta make sure those total strangers don’t have their world rock by seeing someone else not living to their own rules.”


      • Lk says:

        Damn, girl. My eyes just rolled so hard to the back of my head i went blind for a minute.

        If one is making the best of everything why even pretend, please? Make yourself happy, feck all the rest. Stop trying to impress others. Happiness is that way.

        I don’t know about you but i have always wear what i like, work where i like, but i don’t go around needing to label myself as gender fluid, either.

        Honestly. Stop twisting my words.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Yup, cause clearly Eliot is sitting there in the frilliest fluffy dress just not being happy. It’s not about impressing others, it’s about answering questions when it’s asked in an interview. While your eyes are back in your head maybe you can look up what interviews were for again.

        I’m glad to hear about how you value your gender and how you feel about it, but it’s not about you. You weren’t the one interviewed and you don’t identify as gender fluid. As a straight woman I don’t go around deciding how lesbians, gays, or bisexuals should feel because I know I’m not in their arena.

        Figure out what you’re really trying to say when you make a comment.

      • Miss Jupitero says:

        LK if one feels gender fluid why shouldn’t one just say so openly and talk about it? How is this a problem for you? How does it affect you at all? Hers a shocking thought for you: maybe some things just aren’t about you at all.

    • noway says:

      I kind of agree it is stepping on the ridiculous line. I think for some people they are thinking too hard, and really just making more rules for people to feel politically incorrect ze/zir? Socially what we think of as gender changes dramatically with each generation. A modern woman of today probably would be considered to have very masculine qualities decades ago. If some of the younger generation want to lend their stamp on changing gender identities so we finally get to the point we are all just people and he or she means little, I am all for it. I do think though a lot of people are way too offended with language and so-called labels sometimes they are just words.

      I don’t want to offend anyone’s way of finding themselves or identifying themselves, and I appreciate an artist who wants to just be known as an artist first with no labels, still language is just language. Some languages gender specify non-sexual objects as female and male too. This is where I think it goes a bit overboard. It is just a non-offending word, not a discriminatory label or I hope no one thinks of it that way.

      There is also a part of me that thinks with this younger generation that gender fluid is just the in thing. To me they just seem to be experimenting with life as we all did. You know let your freak flag fly, which really meant be your unique self whatever it may be. Wonder what they will be thinking at mid-life.

      • Pinky says:


      • wolfie says:

        I heard on the news that 29% of people between the ages of 18 and 30 identify as bi in the US. I think that exploration is a good thing – although my explorations were never politicized – they felt quite personal. I never felt the need to find acceptance from the general culture.

    • claire says:

      It’s become a big trend for tumblr teens, that’s for sure. There’s genders for every emotion under the sun. There’s even genders based on what type of vegan you are.

      • Loulou says:

        Biggest eye roll ever. Sorry but I can’t take this seriously. You can identify as whateverrrr you want but I can also not care.

      • claire says:

        @LouLou: I don’t take it seriously, either. It’s a lot of teens that are desperate for something to grasp onto as special. You can find pages and pages of sites where people are making up different genders on a daily basis. There’s sane versions of gender discussion, for sure. But there’s also a game of coming up with random pronouns based on whatever normal emotion you’re having that day, or, whatever your otherkin based on an anime character gender is that week. It really dilutes real conversations about sexuality and gender and it’s scary to me that colleges and so forth are caving to this sort of stuff. if someone asks me to use the pronouns of lup/lupus/lupuself because your gender is wolf-themed? Yeah, I’m gonna cringe, giggle and walk away.

      • Francesca says:

        I read an interview with a very young starlet, i cannot remember who. But she was talking about sensitivity towards transgender people. Then she referred to a lot of the kids in her highschool class having “transitioned over the summer”. Like going blonde or getting a new piercing. I absolutely see a ‘trendiness’ to it.

      • claire says:

        @Francesca: It’s definitely, from what I’ve read, an issue that the transgender community is having to deal with, and isn’t too happy about. Usually the people who do it as a fad are called transtrenders. I feel for transgender folk, as that whole mess of transtrender behavior is just making the advocacy for acceptance more difficult.

    • SamiHami says:

      You are definitely not the only one.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I don’t understand or relate to it at all, as I have always identified very strongly as a female. It’s not hard for me to put myself in the place of a person with my feelings who was born in a man’s body, so I can relate to transgender issues. It’s very hard for me to imagine not identifying as one or the other. Do you identify with some parts of being female and some parts of being male, or none of either or all of both? I get to the point where I don’t even really know what I’m asking, and it’s very tempting to just say I’m too old for this crap, it’s ridiculous. But everyone has a right to be who they really are as long as it doesn’t hurt other people. In fact, I think that’s probably the most important right of all. So, I’ll tell my brain to get off its lazy old ass and try to figure this out to the point where it doesn’t bewilder me.

    • Pinky says:

      You’re not the only one. It’s a bit over the top, especially considering the latest study that came out, which suggest gender fluidity is not really a thing. No, I’m not saying transgender isn’t legit, etc., but there are better definitions that already exist to describe what this portion of the population is and is experiencing.

      • jet says:

        Where is this recent study you’re referencing? Not trying to be aggressive, just honestly curious to read it.

    • senna says:

      Just because you find it ridiculous doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant to everyone. For some people, these issues are incredibly relevant. Imagine that Elliot is a good friend of yours and has come out as genderfluid. Wouldn’t you want to understand your friend, support them, make sure you were treating them kindly in how you addressed them, and wouldn’t it make you feel bad when someone said to Elliot, ‘I can’t understand why you are the way you are and I won’t bother to research genderfluidity before complaining about it,’ making it necessary to constantly argue for the legitimacy of gender fluidity? As if everything about the way they are is subject to debate before it’s accepted by other people. That’s reality right now, but it shouldn’t have to be that way forever.

      Gender is an important aspect of how people see themselves. Refusing to listen to what genderfluid people have to say about themselves isn’t about political correctness; it’s about basic human empathy and kindness.

      • Lk says:

        @sienna Thank you very much for explaining in such a nice way. I could see what you mean. Some people would rather pick a fight rather than sincerely try to make other people understand what it was like from another perspective. You must be a very good person who truly care about the issue and I am most grateful.

      • Manjit says:

        I’m old, so how is gender “fluid”? I understand sexuality being “fluid” but not gender.

    • Charlotte15 says:

      @LK, no, no you are definitely not!

    • Francesca says:

      +1, LK.

    • Saywhatwhen says:

      Good Gosh! Agreed Lk. It’s like everyone wants to be a specially little angst-ridden snowflake and we invent words to cater to the millennium young/people teen madness. I am not here for it. I can be respectful and I can observe that you identify as X, Y, XY but I am not descending into new pronouns. Shall we invent a whole batch of new pronominal pronouns too? Madness.

      And you know what this website is good for a day’s read but in trying to satisfy all and offend none, it is losing its sincerity. It’s frankly a turn-off. People come to blogs because we are sick of the curry-favour mainstream media. Have an opinion and put it forth but don’t twist yourself into knots and completely erase the voice of the blog. The poster sounded ridiculous “zirring” and “zimming”.

      • Boiledyam says:

        Thank you!
        I was on this site everyday, as part of my daily de-stressing after the hospital, because it was celebrity gossip, with intelligent, sarcastic women in the comments section.

        Now it’s such a pander-to-everyone-different, attack-those-we-deem-unworthy environment.

        I come on now once a week or every two weeks, and only because I haven’t found another blog I like yet.

  4. Inky says:

    I find the whole idea of language an interesting one. I have recently been doing a course and as part of that, we consider the idea of post-modernism and how the language we use creates the world around us; and how those phrases and words can entrench and encourage assumptions and prejudices. For example, if you say ‘Single Mother’, for many people this will bring up a very negative (and inaccurate) representation of who and what that person is. So I understand why ze is trying to avoid using certain labels and phrases in an attempt to circumvent all the connotations (good or bad), that can come with those.

    • noway says:

      I agree language is interesting, especially labels that people identify themselves as, think of all the different race and heritage labels that have changed as acceptable over the years. Some self identified and some identified by others. Still kind of cracks me up that the NAACP is still using a label identifier that is generally socially unacceptable today. I do think though when you go to everyday used pronouns you might be overstepping the mark a bit and stepping into the too easily offended category.

  5. littlemissnaughty says:

    Okay, I got sidetracked by that article you linked to before this post. It’s a good guide for those who actually care (from the comments under that article you would think humankind is in a fast downward spiral, good gawd). Changing your idiolect is hard. It’s harder than one might think and neologisms are not a good analogy for this issue. New words appear/are created every day, some catch on. But pronouns are so ingrained and we never think about them. It’s great that there are options for those who want/need them and I would always make an effort. It’s not like this suddenly applies to every single person around you. However, the fact that you’re not supposed to ask but to try and figure it out on your own? Come on. I can’t ask? I’m not talking about turning down the music and shouting out the question to a room full of people. One-on-one is not okay?

    • Locke Lamora says:

      I find the language thing so fascinating too, but I can’t think of a way it would work in my language. Verbs differ depending on gender. Even the plural form they is different for males and females.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I think it would work fine in my native language (German), at least from the grammar perspective. I do think that it’s natural for people to fight artificial additions to their language. A few years ago they invented a word for “not thirsty” parallel to “full” for “not hungry”. People were not amused. We tend to fight change for as long as we can even though language does change continuously. Which is funny and quite interesting.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Oh no, I fully agree with you, i’m just saying it would be much harder to do it in my language than in English where you just change a pronoun.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Of course, some languages would be harder to change artificially.

    • Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

      In my language it’s also very tricky, since gender is not a human characteristic. A car is a HE and a table is a SHE. Gender applies to objects, it’s not a human thing… Very confused and it’s very early in the morning to be able to think…

  6. lenje says:

    So does it mean gender fluid or sex fluid? As far as I know, gender is about social construct, the role of the sex(es) in the society. Personally I think the term “gender” itself is rather outdated.

    • NN says:

      One could say the same thing about race.
      Race is a social construct after all so I guess “race” is outdated as well?
      Should we self I.D as whatever “race” we feel like? Most people who do are already looked at as mentally ill.

  7. Bee says:

    Zir? Ze? I have never seen this before.

    • Tapioca says:

      That’s because the gender-neutral third-person singular pronoun you’ve been using since you were a toddler is “it”.

      • Wren33 says:

        I can imagine gender-fluid people not wanting to use “it”, having just spent Thanksgiving with my bigoted cousin who kept gleefully referring to Caitlyn Jenner as “it”.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Ugh, my sympathies Wren.

    • noway says:

      It is technically not a gender neutral pronoun. It is used for inanimate objects, that is why using it for any animate object would be derogatory. English is odd in the fact that we have a pronoun for inanimate objects, not all languages do and just assign a gender pronoun to an inanimate object. In that way kind of dilutes the important or label of the gender.

    • msw says:

      I haven’t, either. My transgender cousin prefers to be referred to in the third person plural “they.”

  8. Giddy says:

    I find myself irritated that your mother in law describes your writing as “the way you waste your time”. Nope! You are a writer, and not only an enjoyable one, but an educational one. Where else would I have learned these new pronouns? Thank you!

    • Esmom says:

      I got stuck on that, too. I hope the MIL is just teasing…

    • pf says:

      It sounds like the mother-in-law is passive aggressive

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Ok, you don’t have to do this, but if you want to, can you explain to me how that’s passive aggressive? I thought I knew what that meant, but someone on here told me I was being passive aggressive, and I’m not sure I completely understand. I thought passive aggressive meant that you do not recognize or acknowledge anger or disapproval by confronting it directly. You might say something doesn’t bother you, but then you slam things and stomp around in a way that lets people know you are angry. Or you might be mad that your coworker got a project that you wanted, so you “lose” something she needs to complete it. So is the mil being passive aggressive because she’s really mad about something else but just lets nasty little things slip like “wasting your time?” Or is it because she doesn’t just come right out and say “I disapprove of your job?”

      • Kitten says:

        Passive-aggressive is misused/overused all the time (you have the correct understanding of what it means, GNAT) but I think OP meant that the MIL was disguising disapproval as a joke.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Thank you, Kitten. That was sweet of you to take the time.

      • lucy says:

        “Passive-aggressive behavior is the indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, stubbornness, sullenness, or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible.” The key word is “indirect”. A lot of people confuse passive aggressive to mean gentle soft-pedalling disapproval. But passive aggression is an active form of indirect focus of negativity.

        As for the MIL comment, I need more info, such as, does MIL recognize Hecate’s writing skills but thinks they are wasted on this celebrity gossip blog use of them (i.e., that Hecate should be writing a novel or doing investigative journalism instead)? or is it a dig on the very idea that Hecate has writing talent?

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Thanks, Lucy. The thing that confused me about being called passive aggressive on here was that I don’t understand how you can be passive aggressive in writing, if you see what I mean. I guess they thought I was indirectly expressing hostility, but I didn’t understand how. So I thought maybe I’d gotten the whole thing wrong. But you pretty much described what I thought it meant, so maybe the other person misunderstood what I meant or something. But thanks for taking the time to discuss it.

  9. FingerBinger says:

    I don’t want to be disrespectful but why should we care? It’s not our business. These declarations are unnecessary.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      I think that way until I read some drivel about how so and so is a heathen who doesn’t understand their God-given duty to wear pretty dresses and makeup. It can’t be denied that for a huge segment of the population if you don’t put down some label (even if the label is that you’re ambigious) then you’ll judged and put down.

      I also think realistically it helps the young adults in the same shoes as zir.

      I’ll be honest and say that defining your gender seems silly since the things that define it (what clothes you wear, who you have sex with) aren’t some set in stone rules but things we’ve changed every few centuries. BUT again, there’s an audience out there with pitchforks for those who aren’t boys and like trucks or girls and like pink.

    • Loulou says:

      You don’t have to care about someone’s desperate need to be special and unique. This whole Tumblr fad is stupid.

  10. Chaucer says:

    Thanks for using alternate pronouns! I’ve never read an article with them before, and honestly it was really difficult for me to get through and not try to autocorrect in my brain to she or him.

    I’ve got a question maybe someone can help me with, and hopefully it makes sense. I do understand the concept of being gender fluid. However my brain wants to make anything not male or female an ‘it’, which to me is not acceptable. Folks who have more experience/exposure to this, how does gender fluid sit in your brain? What are you visualizing when you see gender fluid?

    • Cannibell says:

      The first US stabs at gender-neutral pronouns date back to 1850, according to Mary Norris, who writes about this very thing in “Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen.” Those three were “Ne, nis and nim.” There’s been a raft of other attempts since. (You can read for yourself on pgs. 64-71 of the book.) That said, Good for Zir on being who ze is, and good on you, Hecate, for breaking the pronoun barrier here on Celebitchy!

  11. Sam says:

    Part of me wonders if this whole “gender fluidity” thing is simply because we, right now, are in a culture where gender norms are strongly enforced. Would we have less of a hard time with this if we just kind of accepted that there aren’t really “boy” things and “girl” things?

    Like I’m a woman who rock climbs, plays drums, etc. I do a lot of things that are coded as “male.” I probably identify more with “male” culture that with female culture. But I don’t see that as a “gender” thing. I see it as “well, society tends to code these things as male, but that doesn’t mean women can’t do them. That means that society maybe categorized something that didn’t need categorizing. But that doesn’t make me “fluid” or “queer” or anything of the sort.”

    So…yeah. I don’t get it.

    • Embee says:

      I’m with you so much on this!

    • Heather says:

      I feel like masculinity is portrayed in such a Law and Order SVU light these days. I work in a large corporation and my experience of most men who are Gen Xers and Millennials is that they are very conscious of being respectful and inclusive, yet every portrayal of a male in the media is heinous and I wouldn’t much want to be associated with that stereotype, either, especially if I were conscientious about other people’s feelings.

      While it’s a huge, important step for society that sexual assault and the damage it does get the attention it deserves finally, there really needs to be some OTHER media portrayals of men once in a while to counter balance that.

    • Gabrielle says:

      Yes. That’s exactly what I was trying to say. Isn’t it kind of sexist to say, if I don’t do x, y and z, I’m not a woman?

      • Sam says:

        Yeah. I started thinking about that when I saw Caitlyn Jenner interviewed and she kept stating “I want to have a glam room, I want to have dresses” etc. And I thought, “You can have that as Bruce.” It seemed like she really strongly wanted the “social and cultural” aspects of femaleness most of all (just the impression that I got). And I hope she didn’t feel like she had to transition to get that stuff. I wish more men felt the ability to openly dabble in things that were traditionally coded as female without feeling bad or questing their genders because of it. To me, we have a huge problem with forcing just about everything into a category of male or female, and it’s messing us up.

      • lucy says:

        Props to Sam and Gabrielle. I think Caitlyn is just as confused as Bruce was.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      For me it’s that I don’t think much of my gender (I don’t identify as gender fluid but I do think about it) and that the things that define as ‘male’ or ‘female’ I often see embraced by either sex. So for me I guess I don’t really see people as ‘she’s a girl/he’s a boy’ merely because they like to be rugged and wear pants and do things identified as ‘male’.

      Perhaps my fear is more so that by expanding gender fluid that we are in turn decor timing some things are inherently male and female and if by some miracle you like both then you have to be something different. But…what if you do simply like both, does removing your gender from liking both really help anything?

      But these are just my thoughts.

      • platypus says:

        Kind of in the same boat here, and I’m inclined to agree with your last paragraph too… I never gave it much thought before all of these discussions, to me it’s simply a non-issue… I can’t really empathize with what it’s like to “feel” male, female, or whatever else people define themselves as. What does it even mean? I assume it must be some kind of feeling you have, that can’t simply be put down to interests and personality traits, otherwise it would be too easy to dismiss.

        I don’t mind living in this female body and conforming to the outward expressions of such, it costs me very little. But I think I could have been born in a male body, that I would have been absolutely fine with that, and maybe even gotten along better with social expectations that way. Does that make me gender fluid? And why should I care?

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Yes platypus!

        Exactly. I am female, I’m fine with that, I accept it, but I guess I don’t feel this burning passion about being female. I often hear people say, “I am a proud woman.” and it seems like they’re really in tune with something I’ve never particularly felt. I certainly like some aspects of being a woman but I also wonder how much/if any I’d change if I was a man.

        I am simply a woman but I could have easily been a man. I’ve adjusted to what the world wants from this body but I don’t really feel like much more than a human blob. Glad to hear from someone else who feels this way.

    • Chaucer says:

      It’s quite a bit deeper than that. Think of the most uncomfortable piece of clothing you’ve ever worn. Mine is a turtleneck I wore once. It was irritating, made me feel like I was suffocating, and I kept picking/pulling at it the whole time I wore it. I wasn’t able to focus at all. That’s how being identified as the wrong gender has been described to me. It’s more than not fitting with gender stereotypes. I’ve never fit with my gender stereotype and have never felt different than inherently female. It’s a really internalized sense of discomfort when you try to fit a square peg into a round hole it seems.

      • Sam says:

        But the problem with that is that it doesn’t really have a basis in…well, anything. Biology, psychology, etc. It doesn’t really have a basis in much of anything. When somebody says to me, “I feel like a woman,” that statement raises so many issues. Because, inherently, in our culture, “man” and “woman” are not simply biological terms. They are, but they’re more. They’re cultural, social, etc. norms. And when I see most people who are queer or fluid discussing gender, they do it terms of cultural norms, not biology. That’s my issue with understanding it. If you’re talking about genuine dysphoria – which is a sense of revulsion or disgust at one’s physical form – that is actually a different issue. I think then you’re pressing into trans issues. But this is about fluid and queer, which while that stuff is similar to trans, it’s not exactly the same thing. This seems far more predicated upon the social and cultural constructs of gender rather than dysphoria, which is a different thing.

      • lucy says:

        So well said, Sam! Thanks.

        I think the current attention to gender fluidity has more to do with recognizing the outdatedness of cultural/social norms and less to do with a new phenomenon. I have long thought our society is too preoccupied with categorizing. For this reason the 70s, the “Women’s Lib” movement strove to create gender-neutral pronouns, too. Imposing social constructs (labels) on other people, and people rejecting them is not new. I do think the trend to self-label (as gender-fluid, for instance) is an overreactive rejection of gender norms, and most definitely should not be confused with dysphoria.

    • Venus says:

      That’s my question about gender fluidity as well. I’m 49, so well out of the loop on all this, and when I talk to friends my age, none of us get it. It seems to me that “feeling masculine” or “feeling feminine” reinforces stereotypes. If I want to work on my (hypothetical) motorcycle wearing jeans and a t-shirt and no makeup, I’m still myself, not being “masculine”. And if I want to wear heels and makeup, likewise, I’m still being myself. So — can someone explain how this is or is not the same thing?

      • noway says:

        Same age and I get your thinking. I feel bad that maybe the next generation is a group of people who feel like girls do this- boys do that, and although I knew there might be obstacles to doing anything I wanted, but I didn’t feel like I couldn’t or it meant I was now more male. I am hoping it is just their way of speaking and identifying the issues as no one is saying it is all hunky dory yet. Now transgender issues I get are very different and not what we are speaking about here.

      • JaneFR says:

        Same generation. I’m a geek teaching computer science. I love pink and I just applied some Dior Nuit 1947 nail polish. Am I supposed to be a feminine male ? A masculine female ? Am I supposed to be gender fluid ? Most of the time, I do not think about my gender. I just do the things I love. Maybe it’s not a gender thing but an age thing ? I learned to say ef you to those thinking/saying that I should be more this or less that. I do not belong in a small box, and I won’t let anyone tell me who or what I should be/should do, be it because of my skin ton, religion or sex.

      • Sam says:

        That’s my issue too. The other day my husband was talking about meeting a guy at his work (he’s a political consultant, he meets with different kinds of interest groups) who identified himself as “queer” and started talking about he knew he was queer when he had strong desires to wear his sister’s dresses. But that got me thinking – this man believes he is gender variant because he likes to wear clothing that is currently coded as “female” in our society. But if you back back centuries, men constantly wore clothing that today would be considered “feminine” (heck, every image out there of Jesus has him wearing a robe or what would today be considered ladies’ dress). So is his identity inborn or is it a result of our current rigid gender expectations and standards? That’s where I sort of get stuck.

        I never gave a ton of thought to my gender under other people made it an issue. People used to mention it to my mom when I cut my own hair super short, or joined a wrestling team or spent most of my time around male friends. Only then did I stop and think, “hey, they’re saying I’m abnormal.” But was I? Now, I say no. I was always a girl. I just wasn’t the type of girl they were used to. But that didn’t make me fluid or queer or anything else. It made me a girl. That’s where I get stuck with the whole thing. At what point does somebody stop being a variation of male or female and go into something else? I don’t know.

      • Venus says:

        JaneFR: I love you for this:

        “I do not belong in a small box, and I won’t let anyone tell me who or what I should be/should do, be it because of my skin ton, religion or sex.”

      • SloaneY says:

        It’s very odd. Everyone seems to be offended by everything, but they put themselves in such a tiny, detailed box that they can’t help being offended, can they? How is everyone supposed to know what tiny little box 7 billion different people are in?

  12. Heather says:

    Eliot doesn’t really look more like mom or dad, but sure does sound like a young Sting circa Zenyatta Mondatta. The musical style is quite different, but if you played a track from Eliot and told me this was a lost experimental Sting track or a fully reinvented Sting sound, I’d believe it.

    • Froggy says:

      When I saw the picture, I thought the pic was of one of the Hanson singers at first. I know which one I’m thinking of but don’t remember his name.

      • Blackwood says:

        That was exactly what I was going to comment! When I saw the picture I thought the exact same thing. although Taylor’s features were more delicate, more childlike if I remember correctly.

  13. Sochan says:

    Nope, I won’t be using made up language. She can be what she wants to be. I highly value individualism. But don’t ask me to change how I speak and write for it.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Lol. I know, imagine the effort you just saved by not simply using the pronouns zir requested but instead writing a mini-complaint about why not. I mean come on…s.h.e. and z.i.r. are soooo far away from each other on the key oard. Ugh.

      Good for you for all that time you didn’t invest in it.

      • Jessica says:

        Not to be a jerk, but since you brought it up, Z, I, and R, are actually farther away on the keyboard than S, H, and E.

        H is four keys to the right of S; and E is up one, over one from S. I is up two, over six from Z; and R is up two, over two from Z.

        So Z, I, and R *are* actually farther away from each other than S, H, and E.

        And yes, I realize it’s nitpicking.

      • Cinderella says:

        That darn Z gets me every time, and I’m not kidding.

      • Robin says:

        Except Eliot didn’t request the alternate pronouns. The writer chose to use them.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:


        Considering sochan managed to use every key surrounding zir and write up a little ditty about why she refuses to use zir, I think it’s quite clear the space between letters isn’t the issue.

    • Chaucer says:

      Right? We certainly wouldn’t want to inconvenience you in any manner. *eyeroll*

      • Sam says:

        I don’t think it’s as much about inconvenience as it’s about keeping things straight and not butchering the English language. Humans categorize because we need to. We really don’t have the cognitive capacity to keep dozens of pronouns straight. I could certainly see if a person directly asks you, “Please don’t refer to me that way” or “please do it this way” because that is a personal request. But I do think it’s a bit much to preface each conversation with “how do you identify?” or something such as that. It’s reached the point where it’s starting to impede the ease of conversations and how people speak to each other. If somebody has a specific way they want to be known, I think that can be honored. But now you have people arguing that not expressly asking for pronoun preference is a microagression and violence against the nonconforming, and that’s what people are pushing back against.

      • Chaucer says:

        Sam, i’m sorry you consider using a person’s preferred pronouns ‘butchering the English language’. I would consider it a sign of repsect, but different strokes I suppose. No one on this thread is arguing that starting a conversation with asking about someone’s preferred pronouns as an inconvenience. I highly doubt adding a gender neutral pronoun is going to make the English language collapse and society as we know it disintegrate, while adding words like ‘fleek’ and ‘bae’ will continue to allow it to hold fast.

      • Sam says:

        I was hyperbolizing to make a point. However, the point does stand – language is rooted in meaning. We understand “he” and “she” as having definite, strong meaning. She generally refers to a person of the female sex, he refers to a person of the male sex. What does “Xe” mean? Does it refer to a male-sexed person who identifies as female, a female person who identifies as fluid, etc.? See the problem? They are by definition undefinable terms. And yes, that equates to language manipulation. (My cousin is a linguist and we’ve had this conversation and that’s why I find it so weird).

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I’m sure you value individualism. That’s why you’re so respectful of it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you should change anything you do or say out of respect for others!

  14. platospopcorn says:

    I don’t understand this. Instead of new categories, why can’t we just expand the existing ones? Why can’t a person be comfortable as a “she” without taking on the societal limitations that are unacceptable to them? I’m probably going to get flamed to heck for saying this, but I think a lot of this comes down to not being comfortable with sexuality. Why can’t it be okay for Sting’s daughter to be a girl who loves women (or men or women and men) and doesn’t like to dress up or prefers to reject roles, etc, whatever it is that makes zir(???) uncomfortable? In my mind being willing to say “I am female and I’ll be female in whatever way I choose” is more powerful. JMHO

    • Venus says:

      “I am female and I’ll be female in whatever way I choose”


    • Colleen says:

      You know what? I don’t hate this comment. I sat and thought about it a while before I decided to respond. One could argue that coming up with entirely new pronouns to define what some individuals are feeling is only enforcing the archaic ideas of what it means to be male and female (gender-wise, that is) instead of progressing our way of thinking regarding these labels.

      But then again, as so much time has passed with no real progress in that arena, maybe this is just another avenue to try and accomplish the same. Whatever the case, it is a bit confusing and I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t quite catch on mainstream. But if you’re male or female, trans or gender fluid, I don’t care; I don’t have any expectations either way. Just let me know out of the gate what to call you and I will happily oblige.

      • platospopcorn says:

        Thank you! These were my thoughts exactly. If people resort to esoteric/indeterminate/confusing categories or labels, then it feels a lot like allowing the more rigid elements to define and own the basic terms. It also gives most people an excuse to roll their eyes and dismiss people with these particular concerns. I just don’t feel it helps the cause, but rather alienates further the vast majority of people who are already insensitive to the issues involved.

    • Jessica says:


    • Reine_Didon says:

      I am with you 100%. Ze looks like a woman but that doesn’t limitate her to the taditional role of a woman. She totally can be sexually free and wears and conducts (zir??)self the way ze wants. With no one ever making comments because society already aknowleges the progression in image and rôle of each gender. So we don’t really have to invent a new label. You are a woman and you are FREE to be the woman that you want.

    • Lemons says:

      This, 100%.

    • lucy says:


      I support this: “In my mind being willing to say ‘I am female and I’ll be female in whatever way I choose’ is more powerful.”

      Be an iconoclast. Expand the meaning of female if you think it’s too exclusive and narrow. Being female is already inclusive of being a “tomboy”, of wearing makeup, of not wearing makeup, of wearing high heels, of going barefoot, of being an engineer, being a mother, being a bank teller or bank president, being a race car driver or bus driver; wear a bra or don’t wear a bra. Those role molds were broken decades ago. Unless Eliot is coming up with something actually new not done before, I think s/he protests too much.

    • Sticks says:

      Yes, Platospopcorn. Exactly this.

    • Loulou says:

      Yes Platos! That’s what bothers me about this whole thing.

  15. Willa says:

    Sooo, if they’re both gender fluid, why do you use neutral pronouns for Eliot but not for Miley?

    • Chaucer says:

      Willa, I think Miley still prefers the she/her pronouns. I haven’t heard her ask to be referred to differently or to refer to herself differently.

    • Tapioca says:

      Because even Ray Charles can see that Miley is trolling for attention, despite being dead for a decade…

      She claims to be “pansexual”, yet all her partners have been young, tall, athletic, conventionally-attractive straight men until someone pointed out that they were all young, tall, athletic, conventionally-attractive straight men, then she fingered that female model for the paps.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Yeah pretty much this. It sucks but she seems to be obsessed with taking niche cultures and suddenly declaring she’s a member of them without actually showing any evidence of commitment. Plus for all her talk we don’t really see any evidence she is gender fluid since when it comes down to it she quite reinforces her gender as female publicly.

      • Reine_Didon says:

        Hahaha 😀 Thanks for the laugh !!

    • Willa says:

      Did Eliot ask for the neutral pronouns?

  16. vauvert says:

    I have always though of myself as perfectly at ease and open minded with any type of gender and sexuality topic, and hopefully I continue to be, but now I am baffled.

    I guess I am having trouble with understanding the fluidity part. Does that mean that one day you identify as male and the next, as female? I am not talking about body parts, whatever those may be. (Yes you can change them through surgery, obviously, but not on a regular, “fluid” basis.) And I am also not talking about sexuality, since I totally get that one may be attracted to any/both/none of the genders.

    I also have no problem with adopting new terms to describe new concepts – or our acceptance of old concepts, whatever they may be.

    But I don’t get the fluidity part, so if someone who does can explain it to me, that would be great. (I honestly mean this. No snark.)

    • perplexed says:

      I was baffled too. People were questioning what Alicia Vikander said yesterday about gender, but I understood what she was saying there. I couldn’t figure out what Sting’s daughter is trying to articulate about herself. Maybe she hasn’t figured out what she’s really trying to say yet? Or maybe she’s not that articulate. It doesn’t matter to me how she chooses to identify as it’s her business, but I don’t think she actually expressed herself that well is probably what I’m trying to say.

  17. Micki says:

    While I feel for the trangender people in general and especially for those not born in the first world I find her reasoning lacking and can’t help thinking it’s her way out under the shade of a lot more famous mum and dad.
    As for the changed pronomen- I see it as a way to blend for oversensitive.
    I am she/her and unapologetically unafraid to be one. I don’t want to be refered to as ZE/ZER and I give anyone the right to label me whatever. To care about it is a different matter.
    (the only good thing about ZER -it reminds me of Terry Prattchet’s werewolves talking english)

  18. mj says:

    What, really, people don’t understand that the gender binary is a construct? No, we did not make up having sex organs, but we definitely ascribed certain characteristics to people who have certain sex organs, hence coming up with rigid definitions of gender… and the entire concept of gender. It’s mad disrespectful to roll your eyes at people who identify as gender fluid.

    • Venus says:

      mj: I’m not trying to be disrespectful of anyone. But it seems to me that gender fluid capitulates to those “rigid definitions of gender” you mention rather than individuals expanding their own definition of what a woman can do and what a man can do. Which I find puzzling, since we have female scientists and coders and engineers and head of countries, for example. Why do you conside that defining oneself as female equals stereotypical behavior or interests? And if I’m completely understanding what gender fluidity means, please help me get it.

      • mj says:

        I don’t think the definitions of what it means to be a woman or a man need to be expanded; I think that the human brain/mind is not inherently male or female, regardless of what our standards for either or, no matter how progressive or expansive. If you don’t think that defining one’s self as female equals stereotypical behavior or interests, then what does being female mean to you? Is it a singular experience or has it not been curated by society, even a progressive society that allows that women are strong, smart, and capable? I personally identify as a woman but I’m well aware this is because society has always declared me that. Gender fluidity is basically an acknowledgement that society has determined what we are based on our sex organs, coupled with a refusal to commit to those terms–whatever they may be.

      • lucy says:

        There most definitely are male/female biological differences in the human brain, and none of them has to do with gender roles. I think many of us commenting are distinguishing the biological composition from the social constructs. We agree that biological genitalia/bodyform does not dictate social role; sex, sexuality, and gender are all different things. Being male does not mean being conscribed to particular behaviors, careers, or wardrobe and neither does being female. We as society sorted that out in the 1970s.

      • Venus says:

        mj: Thanks for your reply. I’ve read it five times and I still don’t really understand it, though : ) But as I unpack it — I think that traditional gender roles are societal and that a lot of “typically” feminine/masculine behavior is a result of socialization. I don’t think there are significant biological differences between women’s and men’s brains (backed up by recent research). So on those two stances we seem to agree.

        I grew up female, and I’ve never really thought about what being “female” means to me. I didn’t grow up feeling confined to specific gender norms (it was the 70s, when feminism was at the fore and there was way less rigid gender stereotypes in clothing and toys). I’m a woman and my interests range all over the place; I don’t think of them as defining me. Maybe that is part of the issue?

        This is the sentence I don’t understand: “Gender fluidity is basically an acknowledgement that society has determined what we are based on our sex organs, coupled with a refusal to commit to those terms–whatever they may be.” Even given the above, I disagree that society has determined who I, personally, am. It has influenced me to some degree, but it hasn’t determined everything about me. What does “a refusal to commit to those terms — whatever they may be” mean? Why do I have to refuse to consider myself female in order to reject patriarchal/societal assumptions and expectations?

        I’m not being snarky in any of this — this is a really interesting conversation that I’d like to continue.

  19. anon says:

    Most people really dont use “ze/zir” pronouns anymore. As one of those young tumblr kids you guys mentioned in comments above, i can tell you that a majority of people that dont ascribe to the gender binary and identify as gender fluid go by “they/them” pronouns instead

  20. Jessica says:

    I don’t get the whole “gender fluid” thing. I am female, that is my sex. And I guess I identify as a women but it’s not like I do much that is the societal definition of “feminine”, “womanly”, or “girly”. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I do anything “masculine”, “manly”, or “boyish”, either though. Except that I do like being dominant which is typically considered masculine/male. And I like wearing pants, and don’t wear makeup. If I like being the dominant partner in a relationship but am female does that make me gender fluid? Or does that just mean I am not the average woman, but am still a woman? This is very confusing to me.

    • Reine_Didon says:

      From what I understand, gender fluid is (in Elliot case) a woman (sexually) who doesn’t identify herself as a woman. And not as a man either because she is not transgender. She just disapproves with the classic definition of male/female and doesn’t identify as neither of them.
      I hope this helps.

  21. Cinderella says:

    Not sure if Eliot would want to be called gorgeous, but that’s exactly what Eliot is. The Sting genes are strong in this one.

    I’ll have to go give the music a listen.

  22. Miss Beca says:

    Sex: your biological makeup. I am XX so my sex is female. My husband is XY so his sex is male.
    Gender: a much more complicated often societal construct. This can be how you present yourself, how you dress, how you act. This may (but does not have to) equate with doing “girly” or “feminine” things. I don’t wear dresses or makeup but my gender is female because I identify as female. That is to say, i am CISGENDER–the gender I was born and the gender I identify with match.
    My friend J is TRANSGENDER. His birth gender and the gender he identifies with do not match. He is a man. He lives his life as a man. When we talk about J, we use male pronouns. Trans people literally feel like they were born wrong. They transitionso that their outsides can match their insides.
    Eliot is genderfluid, or agender. Ze is a gender neutral pronoun sometimes used when discussing people who don’t identify as either gender (or who identify as both). It’s not super common so it is OK to not get it at first.
    Lastly, people who struggle with gender identity have a MUCH higher rate of suicide than the general population. It’s ok if you don’t understand, but this is a really difficult thing, so please don’t be flip or dismissive. We’re all only human, after all.

  23. Betti says:

    Ze looks just like Sting and even sounds like him when singing. Thou in the photo’s used am getting a River Phoenix vibe.

    Gender Fluid – thats a new term for me. *climbs on the old woman wall with everyone else* As long as ze (it took great effort for me to type that as the default is to type she) is happy that is all that matters.

  24. My Two Cents says:

    I just can’t keep up with all this stuff any more. Never heard the term gender fluid. I don’t know, I’m just a simple Midwestern woman that thinks we should jeep things simple as God intended…man and woman.

    • NoWayJose says:

      Thank you!

    • M79 says:

      If “simple” was God’s intent, why were people made to be so complex? And life, in general? I don’t think anything is that simple or black-and-white. Life seems to exist in shades of grey and even in nature, it seems there is an abundance of variation. In humans, in animals, leaves, plants, and everything else around us.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:


      God made some men like men and some men like women and some men like both and some men like neither. God made some women the same way. God made some people seem very firm to their sex and what’s expected from that and some peopl quite opposite that.

      If you believe in God and that he is almighty the. You don’t believe he has made mistakes and that we as humans can only slowly uncover his plan. Don’t believe we’ve even touched the iceberg on what God truly has in store for us.

  25. I Choose Me says:

    I find the whole gender discussion so fascinating. For years I’ve been saying that people shouldn’t be defined solely by what sexual organs they have. It’s a complex issue and I sometimes have difficulty understanding all the permutations but I’m steadily becoming more up to verse on the topic. I’ve been using they all this time but I have no problem using ze/zir.

  26. Ryan says:

    Ze is nothing new. I was introduced to gender fluid pronouns by the first Tyra Banks talk show. Who even remembers that show? That’s how long ago it was.

  27. Amelie says:

    Ze reminds me of the French singer Christine and the Queens (real name Heloise something) who dresses in an androgynous way tending towards male clothing.

  28. lucy says:

    Having lived through many decades of social change, I fail to see this trend of self-identifying as “gender-fluid” as anything more than a claim for attention, and to be seen as special and different without actually substantiating specialness or difference in any way.

    Yes, I am being insensitive to Eliot’s and Miley’s and whomever else’s bandwagon desire to be recognized as special.

    The emperor has no clothes.

    Further, I could not care less about defining someone’s gender any more than someone cares about defining mine. We are all human beings. We are one. Namaste.

  29. M79 says:

    It seems we are all on here to learn from each other. I guess I’ll share a bit of my story, if it helps promote any understanding.

    I don’t necessarily mind labels. I understand that we live in a society that loves to package people in neat little boxes (bright blue and pink ones). But not everyone fits into spectrums of gender identity and sexual orientation neatly). I am one of those people.

    I identify as female and use feminine pronouns (she, her, hers). (Though I consider “androgynous” to be the best descriptor). I also identify as bisexual (though I am technically pansexual, though “bi” is a label that more acccurately describes how I see myself as I’ve only had one attraction that falls into the pan category).

    I was 4 years old when I was first given the choice to choose my own outfits. Starting from that time, I exclusively chose boy clothes. This was very problematic for my mother, who always wanted to be a mother to little girls, the kind that loved pink, dresses, and princesses. I was not that child. When I would think of myself (gender identity), I always saw myself as a boy. So the clothing made sense. Everything I liked was stereotypically boyish. The toys I played with, favorite colors, sports, hobbies, cars… I was also attracted to boys and girls as a kid, but never talked about that until I was grown up and living in a big city, when it was safe. My mom had a really big issue with my gender expression (how I dressed/outward appearance). She literally tried to force me to be feminine, and I don’t use that word lightly. She made me wear dresses, attend tea parties and cotillions, take modeling class, learn to walk with a book on my head, appear in fashion shows modeling clothing, take jazz class, ballet class… it was positively awful. I felt constantly hurt, misunderstood, and not accepted by the person I loved the most. I was a great kid, and my mom was so bent on changing everything else about me. We must have fought for a few decades about superficial details. None of it worked. I never felt more feminine and if anything, began to really resent the notion that females were expected to all be a certain way. It wasn’t something I could live up to then and it wasn’t something I felt personally conflicted about. Today, I see myself much as I always have, a unique blend of masculine and feminine traits. I identify as female because I don’t feel that adopting the androgynous label is all that important to me. When I’m not wearing form-fitting clothing, I get called “Sir” and Ma’am” and I don’t take offense to either. Though I do get amused when I’m called Sir. If it happens around my mother, she will freak out and rush to my defense “That’s my DAUGHTER.” It never offends me. I’m surprised it horrifies her so much. In the end, my mom and I are great friends, and I just think of her as misguided at best. It’s cultural, and my mom clearly got some strong messages growing up that she was never able to unlearn. I take great comfort in being androgynous and think of it as a gift. I wasn’t ashamed as a kid and I still am not. You can only be who you are at the end of the day. I had to learn at a very young age to believe in myself and acknowledge and affirm that I had done nothing wrong and had to be comfortable in my own skin, even if opposition was present. I just have to live a truthful authentic life. I’m fine being called a woman though. I don’t believe that stereotypical notions of feminine or masculine are helpful to anyone and they are as harmful to boys as girls. Even Target has started up their gender-neutral toy selection. I’m really happy about that and proud to see these discussions taking place on a broader scale, it’s so healthy. I’m envious of the world children are growing up in, where they can know they have a place even if they don’t fit into a stereotype they are still humans and valid and beautiful worthy people and no less a “boy” or “girl” because they play with trucks or castles. I vividly recall the toy options I had at a place like McDonalds and just not understanding the girl toys. Unfortunately, they still do that. But I think people are coming to a place where they realize this isn’t the best way for healthy boys and girls, who need to express themselves.

    Regarding my sexual orientation, my earliest memory of a girl crush was age 8. I went to a strict Catholic school and knew no gay people. I just naturally began to crush on girls and boys and I never questioned it. I guess I was never the type of kid who compared herself to everyone else, I already felt pretty different for a number of reasons, so i just accepted it. I didn’t talk about it openly, I knew that was unsafe in my environment and small town. Nonetheless, through grade school, middle school and high school, I had many boy and girl crushes. Like most people, I didn’t get to express same-sex attraction until I was out of the house. I was in college and finally met the first girl I knew who liked girls also, and she happened to be smoking hot. She went on to be my first girl kiss. And from then on, I dated men and women. I came out to my parents when I was 19 as bisexual. I remember my dad’s reaction “That’s it? I thought you were a lesbian!” and my mom’s “It’s just a phase. Your generation is sexually confused.” She proceeded to blame it on where I lived, or who my friends were, and kept referring to it as “____ did this to you” (insert name or city). Nothing was done to me. I am the same person I always was. I think my mom, like many parents, saw what she wanted to see, and not what was there. Oddly enough, it was obvious to my dad that I had an alternate sexuality from the start. It’s been 17 years since I came out, and my mom still doesn’t talk about it. We have a great relationship, but she likes to pretend it doesn’t exist. I also don’t bring girls home, so maybe she hasn’t had to deal with the reality so much. (I don’t trust my mom around my girlfriends!) The interesting thing about sexuality is that it is a spectrum, and it can continue to evolve. For example, this year, I fell for my first trans person. I didn’t know if this person was male or female, though I suspected trans, and my guess was female to male, which turned out to be accurate). I don’t know what it is about him but he has just fascinated me since we met, and I think he’s beautiful, wonderful, and makes me giddy all over anytime I see him. This was news to me; prior, I only considered myself attracted to men and women and usually not people elsewhere on the gender binary as I’m already gender neutral enough as is. But this person definitely showed me that even my own boundaries have more flexibility than I thought, and by this definition, I am technically pansexual. Though I still don’t use this label, because this seemed like more of an exception for me, so until that proves otherwise, I think bisexual still sounds more accurate.

    The point is that life is complicated. People aren’t just male/female (maybe biologically, but even then you have intersex – formally called hermaphrodites). Gender identity (how you see yourself) and gender expression (how you dress/express outwardly, how others see you) can vary significantly, and then your sexual orientation is yet another factor altogether. All of these parts can be disconnected. For example, you can be a really feminine girl (gender identity) who has a moment of laziness running out the door you throw on some sweats (gender expression, masculine dress), you may have female parts biologically, but then in terms of sexual attraction you may be attracted to men, women, or anything in the spectrum. It’s all very complex but really, that’s the beauty of being a human being. Everything around us is complex and extraordinary.

    • vauvert says:

      Thank you for sharing M79. I appreciate it, since I was one of the people who asked very sincerely and in a desire to understand further than what has been obvious and simple so far, in terms of straight/gay/trans. As a straight female who has not had to struggle either in herself or with society’s acceptance, I really wanted to understand better and now I do. Kudos to you for knowing who you are and for building a solid relationship with your mom despite her difficulty understanding who you are.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Thank you for sharing really. Change can be hard but I think it’s something people have to accept, the more discussion we have and the more we learn the better things become.

    • mimi says:

      Thank you very much for sharing.

  30. Miss Jupitero says:

    Here is something interesting: Apparently among Baltimore school children “Yo” is springing up as a new gender neutral pronoun:

    “You know, like yo hit me … yo took my stuff! Yo, yo! … yo right there is crazy.”

    ‘Yo’ Said What?

    • PennyLane says:

      And this is how a language evolves.

      That’s the great thing about language – nobody owns it, nobody controls it, and ultimately the correct form of grammar is the one that the most people use. It’s alive! 🙂

  31. Kori says:

    I guess I’m old too because I find it silly, I’m sorry. I don’t mean thinking of yourself one way or the other but the constantly relabeling and changing of words. I’m a pretty open-minded and tolerant person but I will admit I don’t get all of this. I don’t freak out about it but I don’t get it either. I had a big go-around with my college age daughter over the summer. She identifies as asexual, which is fine though I 100% admit I worry a bit about her being lonely but that’s me as a mom, so she was giving me a bit of a schooling on it all. But I still don’t fully subscribe to it all. If the whole generation is about no labels, it just seems that really they’re just creating new and ever-multiplying ones. EVERYTHING goes into some kind of box regarding gender/sexual identification etc…Nothing isn’t categorized it seems. I lost track of all the breakdowns she was giving me. I support Eliot’s decision to view herself (and I know i”m going to get all the pronouns wrong) however makes her most comfortable and it’s no skin off my nose what she or others do in this regard. But I don’t think I will ever be able to make the leap into understanding and using all the various pronouns and whatnot. Getting to the point of remembering to call Caitlyn Jenner ‘she’ and not ‘he’ (except when referring to her previous life as Bruce) and knowing that she’s still Dad and not Mom is about as far as I think I can go. I was at least one up on my husband who had no idea what ‘cis’ or ‘cisgender’ was–but I did thanks to my discussion with my daughter.

  32. Nina says:

    This is why I have no guilt coming here to read my gossip… you guys are so bright and sensible. Love it!

  33. Kim says:

    I teach Gender Studies in high school and I can understand why people find this confusing– it’s a steep learning curve but I highly encourage people to educate themselves. It’s not going away, and non-binary and trans people have existed throughout history and in many other cultures. In some ways, we are coming to it late. They deserve our respect and we should all learn how to be better allies.

    But don’t call it silly, difficult or confusing. No trans person dealing with the difficulties of coming out and transitioning want to hear how ‘hard’ it is for cis people to remember the right words to use. They have bigger problems, trust me!

    I highly recommend the following for anyone interested in educating themselves. These really helped me in my teaching and sorting through the various gender labels (trans, non-binary, agender, cisgender, etc. the difference between sex and gender, gender expression, what have you) . . .
    It’s Pronounced Metrosexual – Sam Killermann (TEDTalk and website)
    Ending Gender TED Talk:
    Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein
    Whipping Girl by Julia Serrano

  34. Tania says:

    OK serious question here. Do the gender fluid not identify at all with either gender or fluctuate between the two? Feeling female some days and male on others? I hope that doesn’t come across as offensive, I certainly didn’t intend for it to be.

  35. DrCruel says:

    Wow. I never knew that gender was a fluid. Isn’t this taking Bruce Lee too literally?

  36. helena says:

    it’s simple, really. each person has both female and male parts and traits. some people have more of the female energy, some have more of the male energy and that’s it. biologically she is a woman, psycologically and emotionally she is a bit of both. good.

  37. GreenieWeenie says:

    Well, I have been all over this thread. I think my issue with it is more a matter of my issue with Millennials in general: there’s this relentless search for approval and validation from other people, especially via SM. The only celebrity that I’ve heard even note this was Mindy Kaling, when she said something like, people hating on your appearance just shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

    ITA. If there’s something I want for kids today, it really is the will (not freedom. They have the freedom) to be who they are without looking for any approval, validation or acknowledgement from society. I really think if people around kids focused more on cultivating this strength of personality and identity in them, there’d be less bullying and less criticism overall. A lot of kids have these worlds that are so small, where the opinions of their friends are everything. But this doesn’t *have* to be the case. You can create an environment–adults in schools, in community venues, parents–that encourages kids to have a broader worldview or perspective.

    There are separate discussions to be had about bullying, social prejudices, etc, and I’m not discounting them. But you can’t go through life looking for people to acknowledge you or approve of you before you feel at ease with yourself. You have to have the strength of character to tell people, “I don’t care if you don’t approve. I wasn’t asking for your approval, and I don’t need it.” That’s what the Civil Rights movement was about, and it fundamentally changed hearts, minds, and the national conversation about race. I think there should be a lot less conversation about creating special pronouns for people and more discussion about kids and confidence, self-exploration, self-approval, growth, determination, empathy, and the nurturing the ability to discern which opinions matter in life. This is what will take kids out of stifling or damaging cultural contexts (which are never going to be eliminated) and move them into more positive ones–a pronoun won’t.

    • Venus says:

      “But you can’t go through life looking for people to acknowledge you or approve of you before you feel at ease with yourself. You have to have the strength of character to tell people, “I don’t care if you don’t approve. I wasn’t asking for your approval, and I don’t need it.” ”

      I really love this. You’re absolutely right.

  38. Dinah says:

    She sounds like someone who has spent her life in a financially secure bubble. Not that that’s a completely bad thing.

  39. Strommy says:

    I find it intriguing that all of all these so called artists so many have interesting conditions (they think). Some people would listen to her music only because she’s Sting’s daughter so she has to try to reach everybody else.
    And by the way if you’re not a hermaphrodite then you are either a woman or a man just like a tree is a tree and a bush is a bush.

    • Luciana says:

      +100000, Strommy.
      I feel a lot of this is just a trend, not saying everyone is making it up but quite a few. To me people can call themselves what they want but apart from hermaphrodites you are either a man or a woman by definition.

  40. Deeana says:

    I started to get a headache about 1/4 way through this thread …..

    Oh, and to the person who wrote “Even Ray Charles could see…”. Stop that! Not funny. Not cute. Very rude!

  41. Layla says:

    The other day I was walking down the street when a person stopped me to comment on my Michael Kors shirt. The person said “Girl lemme see that shirt – oh you KNOW you gotta work it!” I have no idea how to describe this person. They were very clearly male but with beautiful woman’s clothing, make-up and wig. Growing up I would have referred to a person like this as a drag queen or cross-dresser. I have no clue how to refer to him/her now. I didn’t even get to tell my fun little story when I got back to the office for fear I might offend someone by using the wrong term. Anyone have guidance on this issue?

  42. Wentworth Miller says:

    I didn’t know that Miley identified as gender fluid until reading this story. So, here’s my question. Does she really identify as such or is that another one of her attention seeking behaviors that she’s become known for?

  43. Cait says:

    Really shocked reading through these comments… “I’m too old for this” is not a legitimate excuse to dismiss someone’s identity. Seems like a lot of you are misunderstanding the relationship between sex and gender. Read a book.

  44. lisa2 says:

    I am a Star Trek fan.. and when I read these stories it reminds me of one of the episodes Star Trek: TNG – gender equality, There was a society of androgynous people. It was such a wonderful lesson for anyone. But the thing about it was while the society was androgynous; some of them identified with male or female.. and that was the issue. That episode is so relevant today.. far far far ahead of it’s time.

    I feel like I’m still learning. Still trying to understand. Hoping to be sensitive and knowledgeable as I learn more.

  45. Of course “ze” is not worried about being in the shadow of “zir” famous folks; “ze” wouldn’t have gotten a record contract otherwise.