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Intersex people are those who have both genitalia, if you don't know (I've only just learned that "hermaphrodite" is offensive). So they can't really be he's or she's, right? Also, "it" or "its" is, of course, dehumanizing.

I, for one, think that new words should be invented, both for this purpose, and for the purpose of referring to a person of unknown gender, rather than saying "they" or "they are" when referring to the person.

Any thoughts?
 
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They are either he or she depending on how they identify. Gender identity is different than biological sex, and most intersex people want to be referred as he or she only. Ask them.

Not all intersex people have both sets of genitalia. There are cases where a person is born with a vagina, full estrogen, female voice and hips, but has XY chromosomes, testes, and no uterus. In these cases, "she" is almost always going to be the right one as they were assigned female at birth and have no idea of having male chromosomes without being tested.
 

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Thoughts are: Instead of inventing new words how about people address their own issues, so that the connotation of words overtime neutralizes. Words only have power if you give them power. It's confusing when there are multiple words for the same thing, because suddenly we say so many things that in the end nobody understands each other. Adding new words to existing words in my opinion is like throwing more clothing onto a dirty pile of clothes to reduce the stench.
 

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Like Librarylady said it doesn't give from someone being intersex that they are not identifying with one of the genders. But some still prefers not to be identifies as either or(intersex or not), and for that I think a genderneutral word is very handy. They works ok I think, but it is slightly confusing as it is plural. Where I live there have been a development of such a word in little time over the last... 10 years? (we didn't use "they" like that, so there was more of a lack than in english now) there was lots of debate about it as first, but now it seems to be fairly accepted I think. I use it for when I don't know the gender or don't want to specify(often for example when I am using someone as an example and the gender seems irrelevant, or to make someone a little more anonymous) in a sentence, hypothetical scenarios is probably the most common way I use it "If someone does this, do "they" then do that?". I don't really understand why people get so emotional about this issue, it is a very practical word, I don't think it will cause any harm, if not convinced of that, look at other languages which have ONLY genderneutral he/she. A finish woman on this forum told me some time they do there(if there wasn't any misunderstanding) and that she couldn't remember it ever causing confusion.
 

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Seems like I can't edit, so adding in another post: First I want to clarify that the genderneutral word in my language was not imposed, some people just started using it, and many followed voluntarily, it is still very much optional, I would never be for some kind of ruling over language. I came to think of there being a similar (or what years ago when I was learning esperanto) discussion in the esperanto community. If I remember right a third pronoun was suggested added to "li"(him) and "sxi"(her(not actually with an x, but a roof on the s, but it can't be written on computers)), as "ci"(pronounced tsi). I think I have heard a suggested "xi" in english, and wonder if that might be influenced by esperanto? I think it might be good to make it stand out as little as possible. In my language it is very similar to she and he, with "hon, han, hen", nothing exotic, and I think that has helped to make it easier for people to feel comfortable with it. I don't know what to use in english if choosing something other than "they". Hm... he, she and... ve? maybe confusingly alike we... de? ke? ne? and for her and him... dim, kim, nim?(kim too common a name? down to dim and nim(just like the sound better than der(and alike theirs), ker and ner)), and his and her/hers... ders/der and nis (dis to alike this) suggestions: de, dim, der ke, ker, kers ne, nim, nis When a person speaks, de opens der mouth and people listen to dim. Someone was walking on the dark road, I could not see nis face, but ne was tall and I greated nim. (I am confused, grammar is not my thing, this seems to work ok, but I am so unused to seeing it it is confusing, it is easier as in my language I think when the first letter is the same, because that gives the most character to the word, we also have a genderneutral reflexive already as well, so not as many new words needed.
 

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(sorry for trippleposting, but still can't edit and just want to wash my hands of the linebreaklessness of the post above, there was more air in it, but perc seem to be a bit odd tonight)
 

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I think 'they' if that's what they identify as their gender.

But if an intersex person (yeah--I didn't know that term before either) identifies with a particular gender, like male or female, then addressing them with that pronoun is appropriate (he or she).

I don't think inventing new words for common usage will be very easy. We already use 'they' when describing unknown gendered people, so I don't really see why it would be an issue, aside from people might assume a gender of someone of unknown gender and then backtrack. Most people want to be referred to as either he or she, I think.
 

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I've heard of people using ze/hir/hirs, pronounced as "zey", "here", "heres" (I might be wrong though!)
 

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Edit: Wtf--my posting style gets so spammy sometimes. I guess I mean...please don't let this thread get derailed into some kind of hateful circle jerk. But that wasn't clear--also pessimistic. I've been spending too much time in the debate/current events sections though, and then spamworld too.

I talked to a friend who teaches English, and she just offers students to choose, but tends, herself, to use 'people' as the subject and then uses 'they.'

She brought up how personal it is to ask someone's pronouns, which I hadn't thought of. Not everyone wants to indicate if they identify as non-gender-binary, though, I think was her point. It makes sense then to wait until someone corrects or specifies, or requests to be referred to a certain way and then just be respectful. I think that's pretty common sense.
 

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Thoughts are: Instead of inventing new words how about people address their own issues, so that the connotation of words overtime neutralizes. Words only have power if you give them power. It's confusing when there are multiple words for the same thing, because suddenly we say so many things that in the end nobody understands each other. Adding new words to existing words in my opinion is like throwing more clothing onto a dirty pile of clothes to reduce the stench.
Agreed
 

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Thoughts are: Instead of inventing new words how about people address their own issues, so that the connotation of words overtime neutralizes. Words only have power if you give them power. It's confusing when there are multiple words for the same thing, because suddenly we say so many things that in the end nobody understands each other. Adding new words to existing words in my opinion is like throwing more clothing onto a dirty pile of clothes to reduce the stench.
Agreed, but I think things will "even out" and honestly the majority of people won't allow human language to be so confused.
 

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Edgelord
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Them/they, unless they prefer he or she (anything else is just ridiculous nonsense, sorry)
 

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Here's a cool video that features 3 intersex people who have different conditions. (Viewer discretion is advised!! —biology alert!)

The first person is chromosomally XY, but the body never responded to masculinizing hormones. She goes by "she" even though she is genetically male and has testes inside her. She grew up knowing that she was intersex and has a very positive outlook of herself.

The next person has the rarest condition, true hermaphroditism, where she has part teste and part ovary—but they were both removed at a young age. She lives as a female and gets a vaginoplasty as an adult. When she was born, it was easier to "make" a girl than a boy. If she were born today, it might be easier to make her a he.

The last of the three is a baby/toddler girl who received strong surges of male hormones in utero. She has a womb and ovaries, and undergoes vaginoplasty, but she will get to decide how much farther to take the surgery when she gets older.

 
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