One of the difficult things about being a genderqueer person is finding appropriate non-gendered pronouns, and then asking others to use them. I have recently decided to start going by “E/e,” and have briefly expressed that desire in writing. I now have a more complete understanding of what it would look like to use these pronouns. I would like to share how to use “E/e,” with anyone who would like to refer to me in my preferred way. “E/e” is both a shortened version of my full name and a pronoun. “E” can be used in place of my full first name. “E’s” can be used possessively instead of “her,” “his” or “Eileen’s.” The lower case “/e” can be used in place of “he” or “she.” I only place a backslash in front of the “/e” when I write so that it doesn’t look like a lonely lowercase letter or a typo. Furthermore, “/e” represents the ending of the words “he” and “she” while cutting off the parts that make them gendered. Here are examples of how “E/e/E’s” may be used in speech and writing.
You can work on:
“This is my friend E.” (Name.)
“…E’s cat always has a little bit of poop on her butt.” (Instead of name/her.)
“Did you see E’s plant collection?” (Instead of name/her.)
“Did you hear what /e said?” or “Did you hear what E said?” (Replace with “/e” for he/she or “E” for name.)
“You just missed E! /e’s on the way to the show.” (Instead of name/her/she’s/he’s. This one requires a shift in inflection.)
I need to work on:
“Hi, I’m E.”
“My preferred pronouns are E/e/E’s.”
Things I know:
I know this is a difficult shift, and you might mess it up sometimes. It’s ok.
I know a lot of gender nonconforming people use the pronouns “they/them/their,” but I don’t wish to use them for myself. If you wish to use these pronouns for me I will not be upset (I prefer them to he/she), but they’re not preferred.
I know the "/e" might make you sound a little cockney. I’m into it.
I know Eileen is a beautiful name with a lot of family history. I have nothing against the name except that it immediately genders me. I am still Eileen, but I am also E, and would rather be referred to in a non-gendered way.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you, I love you.