Personal Pronouns

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Personal Pronouns

#1 Post by hockeypbp » Fri Dec 06, 2019 5:18 pm

A 41 year first today. I was handed a note a few minutes into a women's college soccer game informing me the opposing team's goalkeeper identifies not as "she" but "they."

It sounded rather awkward saying "they dive to their left and make the save," especially since "they" usually refers to a team as a whole. A part of me wanted to say something by way of explanation, but I didn't feel comfortable having a discussion about gender identification in the middle of a soccer game, or calling attention to a young person who probably has had to deal with a few things in their life, so I just changed the reference and continued on.

What do you think? Would you have explained?

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Re: Personal Pronouns

#2 Post by PhilGiubileo » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:22 pm

It's a challenge indeed. Personally, I haven't had to deal with your situation yet, but I work in the NWHL (National Women's Hockey League), and for a couple of seasons, we had a Trans Male (Harrison Browne, seasons 2/3 of the NWHL, was Hailey Browne in season 1 and prior to that, having played at Maine), and would have to refer to "he/him", while literally everyone else was "she/her" in the league. It's not easy.

What I would consider in your case to be the best alternative, is if you're having trouble with "they" as a pronoun, is to just refer to their last name. In my example, it would be "Browne in the corner... Brown dumps the puck out..." etc...

In your case, because it's a goaltender, it might not be a difficult change to just use the player's last name instead.
Phil Giubileo
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Bob Rotruck
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Re: Personal Pronouns

#3 Post by Bob Rotruck » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:49 am

Agree with Phil. If not comfortable with the pronoun then just use the player's name. "Jones dives to the left and makes a strong save."
Something like that. Agree this is challenging in a use of the pronoun your audience would be less familiar with and you have never done before. Also agree with your reasoning for doing it the way you did while not drawing attention to it.

This really isn't THAT different from changing some of the traditional pronouns in women's sports such as "man to man" defense if that's a phrase you are used to.
Thinking through it and caring enough to do right for the player/s is the key here.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey in Allentown, Pennsylvania. AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers.

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