LGBTQIA+ and iNaturalist

I wanted to highlight this point and elaborate on it.

The short version is, you should never, ever comment on someone’s primary or secondary sexual characteristics unless you have been clearly invited / asked to do so. Someone mentioning that they are trans is NOT an excuse to talk about their genitals or speculate about surgeries. Likewise, if someone presents in a gender-non-conforming way, it is still NOT okay to ask questions that are a thinly veiled attempt to ascertain what their genitalia and/or secondary sexual characteristics are.

You may think this is obvious. Well, it happens to trans folk all the time. When I come out to someone, often one of the earliest things they say is “did you get The Surgery???” or “yeah but… what’s in your pants?” … gross.


Sounds like in that case you had a positive interaction, though it could be exhausting having to do that too many times. I know people usually aren’t malicious, just it’s hard.


But…Gray’s Law: “Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.”

At some point, with how much information is out there at our literal fingertips, choice of ignorance is indistinguishable from maliciousness. And, because we (queerfolx) are continually bombarded by what is actually at this point mostly willing ignorance, it’s no wonder if feels like malice. Intent only matters insofar as when ignorance was not a choice.


yeah, very good points there.


With how much information is out there at our literal fingertips, none of us can possibly assimilate all of it. So we have to pick and choose which categories of information we pursue, and our choice will always seem wrong to somebody.

The book titled A Child Called “It” highlights this. His abuser called him that to dehumanize him.

We should point out, though, that “it” was not his preferred pronoun. That is an important consideration.


This is the thread for LGBTQIA+ naturalists. I specifically revived it to talk about how to respect trans people. I don’t think announcing you’re not going to use my pronouns is a post that belongs here.

Using my pronouns is not difficult. Especially if you’re not likely to talk about me in the first place.

You could have just not said anything at all, since I assume you do not go around talking about me all the time. But straight up telling me and everyone else here that you’re not going to use my pronouns is not okay, that is in fact transmisic (bigotry against trans people, snynonymous with transphobia, but using the suffix for hatred rather than fear) and exorsexist (bigotry against nonbinary people in particular. Exor meaning “outside” as in outside the gender binary. I’m even defining these terms so no one can say I expect them to memorize them all).

And it’s not in fact a “generational issue”. Trans and nonbinary people have always existed, even when you were a kid. Lots of them are the same age you are, and even older.

Personal refusal to respect people’s pronouns cannot be blamed on your generation when your generation also has trans and nonbinary people. Trans people have always existed. We weren’t invented in 2010.

It is your personal responsibility to be a better person than the society that raised you.


Anyways fun fact. I’ve been using it/its pronouns for:

623 days, 4 hours, 45 minutes and 12 seconds

I’d be happy to explain why I chose them out of all other possible options – including literally infinite numbers of neopronouns-- but it’s going to require a several thousand word essay at the least.



I mean…why even say that? It basically implies that someone who uses “it” pronouns is icky. And…this thread is like…for queer folx? Why say their choice of pronoun is icky? that’s super unsupportive and making it about yourself, which isn’t needed. It’s the exact opposite of what should be happening.

I was ninja’d - but @nonbinary-naturalist I don’t think you need to explain your reasoning. There’s lots of essays on that out there. We do that far too much for people, but kuddos if you have the spoons to explain yet again <3 people do not realise how much that is draining to constantly explain our existence.


I also use “it” pronouns. I understand that people will mostly use my masculine pronouns since they’re more familiar, but whenever someone goes out of their way to use my “unusual” pronouns, it makes me very happy.

I think there’s sort of four levels here.

  1. neopronouns, eg ze/zir. They may be new to you, but if you have trouble with them, almost every person who uses neopronouns will have them listed in their bio. Using “they/them” in that case is… low-effort, but most people with neopronouns will sigh and tolerate it fine.
  2. “it” and “gay”. these have been used an insults, but “it” is not an inherent slur and “gay” has been completely reclaimed, at least in the West. Generally, do not call someone “an it” – but if they want you to, please do it. If you need time to adjust, that’s understandable, but if someone wants to be referred to as “it” it makes them feel happy when you do.
  3. “queer”. lots of older LGBTQ people don’t like it and it can cause them real distress. on the flip side, younger people love it and have totally reclaimed it. the consensus I’ve seen is that people use or don’t use it according to their socialization and trauma-history.
  4. “fa–ot”, “tr–y”, “genderf—k” these are absolutely slurs. But some LGBTQ people will use them to refer to themselves regardless. Don’t be offended on their behalf, they know what they are calling themselves and are probably doing it for a joke, art, or in anger. We’re not naive. Of course, if you’re not in the LGBTQ community, don’t even consider saying it. If you’ve been invited to say it for a specific reason, even then, saying no is more than ok. Using it in a quotation or historical context, it should be partially censored.

this is my personal experience, norms will vary by community.


most people with neopronouns will sigh and tolerate it fine.

Terrific, that’s my benchmark for successful social interaction!

Jokes aside, I already routinely slip up with gendered language with cis women (it matters a lot more in French since it occurs when directly addressing the person, ie with adjective agreement), so a general “they/them” option is a godsend for me. I’m glad that it’s considered passable - even if as always intent and context matter.

That said, iNaturalist, especially on people’s observations, does feel like a place where taking the extra effort to use people’s preferred pronouns is more than warranted. It’s an activity we pour a lot of ourselves into and denying people like this would be particularly cruel IMO.


So like… I’m a person that has a visceral reaction to people being called ‘it.’ I was bullied and dehumanized during my younger school years when I was younger, it was honestly awful and if anyone actually called me ‘it’ nowadays there is a strong chance I would get physical with them. The last kid who tried it with me in highschool, I ended up throwing up against the bleachers so I could make it VERY clear that it wasn’t acceptable.

AND ALL THAT SAID - if someone says that ‘it’ is their preferred pronoun, I’m still going to use it, because my trauma doesn’t negate anyone’s desire to have their humanity and identity respected. Period.

Pronouns are not there to show biological sex, and just the term ‘biological sex’ is such a dogwhistle - almost no one has had their chromosomes tested, you don’t know what another person’s chromosomes are, and you certainly shouldn’t assume their genitalia (not that it matters, because hell, it doesn’t matter I’m so tired of this talking point. exhausted)

Saying trans people just want to look unique is such a nonsequitor, and extremely focused on a western European mindset - there have been plenty of cultures throughout history that didn’t have such a hard focus on the gender binary.

If someone is uncomfortable with the pronouns of the other person, is it up to them to examine why they are uncomfortable and attempt to unlearn their biases - its such an easy thing to just call someone by their pronouns, even if that pronoun is ‘it’

Fuck man I didn’t wake up today expecting to see transphobia on my science forum.


Thank you lothlin.

I hope some of the other folk above read your post and realise they have their own internalised issues to deal with, and they shouldn’t be dumping that on others. Like someone else mentioned - ‘it’ is only problematic if it is not the person’s pronoun of choice.

I was a “tomboy” growing up and I hated being called it, because I am not a boy. People would use male pronouns for me too, calling me “he”. “I am not a he! Don’t call me that!”, I would say, but they would continue. Even my own family at times. “He” isn’t a problematic pronoun, it was used problamatically. But maybe I should just go around refusing to use “he”…because it was used to dehuminise who i was…
(see how dumb that sounds, ya’all??!)
(ps not that it matters, but i was AFAB, the boy shit didn’t start until i was older and 'acted like a boy not a girl", calling me a boy was used derogitorily and dehuminse me that i was not “acting correctly feminine enough”)


That’s acually one of the main reasons I use these pronouns. I’m autistic, and very obviously so according to all my peers, who bullied me every moment I was at school. I also had undiagnosed hypermobility issues, so my shirts were constantly torn because I would rip up the sleeves in an effort to get them to stop “hurting my arm” because they were too tight…turns out the sleeves were making my shoulder dislocate but I was too young to realize that wasn’t normal and no one listened when I told them it hurt :'(

I was bullied every day I went to school, even though I never did anything to hurt anyone. I was obviously different, and that was a good enough reason to constantly harass me.

I am autistic. I’m nonbinary. I’m weird and that’s why I was bullied by every “normal” person at every (there were many, we moved a lot) school I went to. Including the literal teachers. I’m not going to pretend to be normal now that everyone wants to throw a fit over me calling myself something they don’t like even though they’re probably calling me that behind my back anyways.

I’m weird. I’m an it. And if you (general you) don’t like that that’s too fucking bad. I’m not going to let people pretend I’m perfectly normal now after my entire childhood was spent behind told I’m weird and that’s bad. It’s not fucking bad to be weird, it’s bad that I was punished for it. Being an it isn’t bad – it’s bad that everyone automatically assumes it means lesser.

If you (general you) think that anything nonhuman is inherently subhuman, then that tells us a lot more about your morals than it has any reflection on the worth of the person who uses it/its pronouns.

If you think that anyone being different inherently means that they’re lesser, then that is literally a problem with your morals, not mine.

I think the people on this thread attacking nonbinary people and neopronouns need to find another thread. This place is for Queer and LGBTQIA+ people, not bigots.


Totally respect embracing and making something good out of something that brought you down <3.

(also english really needs a plural ‘you’ LOL)


could be a question for the forum mods, but a forum I used to be on very regularly (it no longer exists) made threads with SAFESPACE first in the title. It should be obvious what that means, but it would mean folk acting like bigots would not be able to post that stuff in that thread. If they did, a mod would delete it. Maybe this thread should be closed and a new safespace thread opened. Or at least open another so anyone who wants to ignore this thread, can, but we can still have a thread for us without worry about what we’d find in it.

Its southern. It’s ya’all. xD or sometimes, litterally, yous, or yous’un xD for all the lookdown on southern accents as lesser than, or stupider, etc., there are some fine words that yall should adopt xD already genderneutral, too!


Well, I flagged the bigoted posts so they’ll hopefully get taken down, and I’m just gonna pretend they don’t exist now. “Lalalala I’m not listening” “huh that was a weird noise did you hear something?”


oh shit I actually do use ya’ll for that even though I live in Ohio. It works!


Transmisics: [butt in on the thread that’s Literally For Supporting Trans and Nonbinary People Including Those Who Use Neopronouns along with all other Queer / MOGAI / LGBTQIA+ people]

Trans and nonbinary people:

girls with cups meme

[ID: The meme picture of a group of college students holding red plastic cups standing in a crowd, all of them turning to look at the camera with various expressions of judgement, shock, or disgust. End ID.]


I’m HOH so I missed it…crickets? birds? the fall of the patriarchy? hahaha


Seriously though, I try to not be political on this forum and things like my mushroom groups as long as people are being mostly respectful - I’ll bite my tongue on things I disagree with as long as they aren’t actively being hateful but like -

FFS We can’t even have this ONE THREAD. Look I might be the most visibly passing version of LGBTQ+ (Eyooooo where’s my other bi girls married to men, anyone?) but that just means I’m more willing to throw hands since I’m (relatively) safe