What do ne / nim / nir pronouns mean?| Updated on
Ne / Nem / Nir is a set of gender neutral pronouns that some people and/or organisations have adopted. For example, you would say “Ne is hungry” instead of “He/She is hungry”, “Please tell nem that lunch is ready” instead of “Please tell him/her that lunch is ready”, and “This sandwich is nirs” instead of “This sandwich is his/hers”.
However, it is relatively rare to come across this set of pronouns, because of a lack of awareness, fragmentation of proposed pronouns, and the difficulty in understanding how to pronounce some of the pronouns. On the flip side, the use of the singular “they / them / theirs” as gender neutral pronouns is gaining adoption.
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The sharing or display of pronouns in the workplace, or on social media profiles, has also became increasingly common. Pronouns are not indicative of a person’s sexual orientation, so naturally, not everyone who shares or displays their pronouns identify as LGBTQ+. The reason straight, cisgender people share or display their pronouns is simple: they want to show others that they will respect everyone’s pronouns; in other words, displaying their pronouns is a way to let others know (especially LGBTQ+ folks) that they will create a safe space for any LGBTQ+ folks around them.
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The world is increasingly accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, but it isn't always easy to understand the different sub-communities and nuances. In part due to the censorship in sex education and the mainstream media (hello from Singapore), many find themselves stumped by some of the terms relating to the LGBTQ+ community.
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