LGBTQIA+ and iNaturalist

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


hand raised sameeeeeeeee and sammeeeeee
(i use pan not bi, and queer but will be assumed female 'cause chest, so yea, heaving passing priv here too)


I’m thinking that refusing to use someone’s stated identity, falls under this in the OP - do not guess at someone’s identify. if they tell you what it is, use it.

just…pointing that out. ;)


I’m putting to put this on slow mode and may temporarily close it if necessary.

A few things:

  • if someone asks you to refer to them in a certain way, please respect that choice.

  • please assume others mean well.

  • please provide reasoned, civil, constructive responses and avoid name calling.

  • if you see something you think violates the guidelines, please flag it rather than respond.

This was specifically addressing outing people.


That’s what I feel like saying every time I get this response to my pronouns. “Well since you refuse to use my it/its pronouns since you had a bad experience being called it, then by that logic that means I get to refuse to use people’s she/her pronouns, because I have a bad experience being abused and dehumanized using those pronouns!”

It really just shows how absurd the argument is. I wish more people would just take a few seconds to think critically about what they’re thinking before they say it.

Lots of cis people feel deeply uncomfortable calling binary trans people by their she/her or he/him pronouns, but we all know that refusing to use their pronouns is misgendering and bigoted. But somehow people think that this common courtesy flies out the window as soon as you start talking about nonbinary trans people who use pronouns other than he/him or she/her…Like come on.

At least take two minutes to really think through what you’re planning to say and ask yourself, “Is this bigoted? Is this respectful? Is this something I would want someone to say to me if the situation were reversed? Is this really an argument I should be making? Would it be less effort and less hurtful to everyone involved if I just said nothing?”


hey y’all. I’ve known both @fffffffff and @sedgequeen long enough that I’m sure they don’t mean harm. doesn’t mean no harm is being done, I acknowledge this is a hard conversation to have.

I am firmly on the side of my fellow trans people here and I feel their frustration. but in this specific case, I believe it may be possible to resolve the issue in a more, uh, chill manner.

Marina, you say you

well, now you have. Hi, my name is Astra. I feel like a man, and not even 24 years of being socialized female could change that. all it did was make me miserable. I’m much happier now.
There’s also the people who posted recently – nonbinary people are also, by definition, trans (though some don’t like the label). I do understand if they’re less eager to meet you.
And there’s a good ten people above all of us. You say you need to meet people to respect them? We’re here. Go read the thread again from the start, and maybe you can get a sense for what life is like for someone like me.


From a pragmatic standpoint, it would be very difficult to police that. No offence to the mod team, but I don’t think they have the knowledge (eg what are all the dogwhistles, the positions and evolution of queer people and spaces over the last decades gens boomer-Alpha etc), and then the manpower on top of that. Like maybe? But it would be up to them.

From a personal standpoint, I know there must be safe spaces. I like them. But there also must be shared spaces, and I believe the iNat forum is one of them. We can’t, and won’t hide from the world even in the face of ignorance, apathy, or injustice. If you need to take a break, by all means do so!


@tiwane I tried to send you a PM asking if I’m supposed to be flagging the response if it’s still bigoted, or explaining why it’s still bigoted, but I’m still new to actually using the forum so I’m not sure if it actually sent. So I’m gonna respond and explain why the response is bigoted.

And I hope that explaining to people that they are being bigoted does not fall under “name calling” because that’s uh…bigoted, to say the least…

And to the moderators – please do not close this thread just because some people are being disrespectful. It’s not fair to the rest of us that some people being rude means we all lose out on this place to talk . We shouldn’t all be punished just because of a few people being offensive.

This thread should be a place where we can talk freely about our identities without fear that it will be shut down because some people aren’t being respectful.

I hope that my response here will give people reason to reflect and learn to respect people even if they don’t understand.


[ID: A screenshot from the show, The Good Place, showing Chidi talking to Eleanor, originally saying, “Okay, but that’s worse”, and now edited to say, “Okay but that’s literally misgendering”. End ID.]

(and for those wondering, “ID” stands for “image description”, and they are an accessability tool to make the internet more accessible for blind/low vision people who cannot see the images. While it may be harder for them to use iNaturalist itself, as it’s very visual-based site, there’s no reason to assume they aren’t regular users on the forum.)

You are still telling everyone including me that you’re going to misgender me.

You are deciding for yourself that you know what is best for me better than I do.

Denying me my right to self-identify is not respecting me in any sense of the word. It is literally just initializing me and stripping me of my autonomy and my apparently precious humanity.

Refusing to use my pronouns is not respectful, it’s literally just misgendering.

Infantilizing me by saying I don’t know what’s good for me and have to have others decide it for me is not respectful.

If I were a binary trans person who used she/her or he/him pronouns, this argument that you’re just trying to “respect” me by misgendering me would obviously be nothing but transmisia to everyone here with morals.

But because I use it/its pronouns, suddenly everyone else gets to decide for themselves that I don’t actually know how I should be shown respect, and need to have my autonomy and identity taken away like I’m a child who has no idea what I’m talking about, and replaced with whatever the other person thinks is best, because they’re claiming they’re respecting me, by…refusing to respect me.

You say you just want to respect me as a person, but you aren’t actually respecting me.

And this hangup on it/its pronouns denying my humanity – okay, what if I told you I do not identify with humanity? And I do in fact identify as nonhuman? Does that make it more acceptable?

Except it shouldn’t, because there are plenty of people who use it/its pronouns who do identify with humanity 100%, and arguing that you should respect me because I don’t identify with humanity just means it’s okay to misgender them.

“Humanity” has nothing to do with the conversation. If you can’t respect someone unless they’re like you, then that does not mean the problem is that they’re different, the problem is you refusing to respect people different from you.

I literally do not identify as a human. I do not want to. I get no joy or happiness from calling myself human. And I haven’t said anything about this up until now because I know this is going to seem even more absurd and worthy of disrespect than my pronouns or even my trans and nonbinary identity.

Like I said in my post above, my entire childhood was spent being sent from school to school to school, never long enough to make any friends that could work long-distance, because this was before the advent of social media, but it didn’t matter that we weren’t there long enough to make friends. Because there was always time enough for all of my classmates to realized that There Was Something Wrong With Me.

Because I was autistic.

Because I was poor.

Because I was physically disabled in a way I didn’t have the ability to realize yet.

Because I was nonbinary even though I didn’t have the words for that yet.

Because I didn’t wear makeup and was stick thin because the only food I ever got to eat was the school lunch because not only were we poor, my parents were actively neglectful and abusive and my step dad literally did not let us eat what little food was in the house.

I spent my entire childhood being told that something was wrong with me because I wasn’t like everyone else, and being viciously abused because of it. By my classmates. By several teachers. By my mom and my stepdad.

I am not normal. I am not human. I am not going to deny all the things that have been done to me by pretending it never happened, pretending that I’m normal, and just like everyone else.

I use it/its pronouns for many reasons, including the fact that they are my way of reclaiming my identity from everyone who stole it from me as a child. It is my way of acknowledging every abusive word or action that I have ever been subjected to. It is my way of reminding everyone around me that just because I am different does not mean I deserved one single second of the abuse I was subjected to.

Just because people are different from you does not mean they are lesser.

I should not have to bare my soul to convince you to actually see me as a person deserving of respect. But I’m going to do it anyways, so that maybe you’ll take the time to understand that you do not need to understand in order to treat people with respect. Real respect, not your version of it where you revoke our ability to think and decide for ourselves because you think you know better.

You do not know me better than I know myself. You do not have the right to refuse me my identity – which is what you are doing when you refuse to use my pronouns – and then claim you are respecting me. You are not. This is literally just a fact.

If you actually respected me as a person, you’d take my word for it that using it/its pronouns for me is the best – and only, in the case of personal pronouns – way to respect me, my identity, and my choices in regards to it.

I promise I have thought long and hard about all the ramifications and implications of it/its pronouns. They are my pronouns. I chose them out of the infinite other options for many, many reasons.

If you actually truly really do respect me as a person, then use my pronouns, no matter how you feel about them personally.

Insisting that you get to be the one who decides whether or not my chosen pronouns are respectful to me or not, and deciding that you get to be the arbiter of my pronouns, and thus my identity, is the most disrespectful thing you can do.

You’ve been able to read all the other posts between your first comment and now, but you’re still deciding that I don’t actually have the right to have my identity respected because you don’t like the pronouns I’ve chosen. You still think you know what is best for me better than I do.

You are still centering your personal discomfort over my right to be treated with basic respect.

Saying that you know that what you are doing is bigoted, and then doing it anyways, does not make your decision any less bigoted. That does in fact make it worse because now you are actively choosing to misgender me even though you know doing so is bigoted.

If you’re self-aware enough to know that what you are doing is wrong, you’re self-aware enough to stop yourself from doing the bad thing. You are literally admitting that you know you’re being bigoted but you’re doing it anyways.

Because you would rather misgender me than actually treat me with respect. You would rather purposefully be bigoted than treat me with respect. You are telling all the trans people on this thread that you care more about your own personal feelings than you care about actually respecting us.

You say you’re fine with it, in the exact same post where you show me and everyone else here who’s trans you’re not actually fine with it, because you refuse to actually show me basic respect by using my pronouns.

You are deciding for yourself that I don’t actually know my own mind and I don’t have the right to self-identify.

[ID: A lineless drawing of an iceberg floating in the ocean, with only a small section visible above the water.

The top part visible above the water is white and is labeled, “Misgendering”.

Below the water, the iceberg’s sections become deeper blue as they go down, with the text starting blue and fading to black to match the gradient in the water.

Below the surface: Refusal to respect chosen pronouns:

Upper middle: Refusal to accept gender identity

Lower middle: Rejecting other’s right to self-identify

Deepest section: Denying the right to self-determination

End ID.]

I really shouldn’t have to explain on a thread about respecting and supporting LGBTQIA+ people that misgendering is always disrespectful.

This is not about people “not fitting into boxes”. It’s about you literally misgendering me and refusing to not misgender me even though you admit you know it’s not right.

This is not a “both sides are wrong” argument, this is you literally arguing that I do not deserve the autonomy to self-identify because you think you know what’s best for me better than I do. I have not put you into any boxes. This is not something you can turn around on me like you aren’t the one disrespecting me when you had the option to not say anything at all.

Being Queer / MOGAI / LGBTQIA+ yourself has no bearing on you being transmisic and exorsexist towards me.

You don’t gain Immune To Being A Bigot Points just because you’re also not straight. That’s not how this works.

You admit that you know misgendering me is wrong, but you’re still going to do it, because you do not actually respect me. If you did, you’d know that your personal feelings on my pronouns do not matter. What matters is actually treating me like a fully realized person with a mind that exists separate from your own.

If you respect me, you will use my it/its pronouns.

If you do not use my it/its pronouns, then no, you do not respect me.

You cannot refuse to use my pronouns and then in the same breath say that you are respecting me. Misgendering is never respectful, unless someone has literally asked you to use the wrong pronouns around certain people so they aren’t outed as trans around abusive family members or their employer, who might suddenly find a convenient excuse to fire them or just suddenly, for totally no reason, start giving them so little hours it’s the exact same thing as being fired.

I am openly trans and nonbinary on all social media and when not on the internet.

Refusing to use my pronouns is not you standing on the moral highground. It is you blatantly refusing to actually view me as a person with autonomy and the right to self determine and the right to self identify.

If you aren’t going to use my pronouns, then at least do me the favor and stop pretending you’re misgendering me for my own good. It’s not for my own good, it’s because you refuse to actually respect me.

Using it/its pronouns for those who ask you to is not difficult. It’s not insulting. It’s not “icky”. It’s not immoral.

Like I said before, I highly doubt you ever have had reason to talk about me to other people before now, and I doubt you will find reason to after this conversation ends.

You could simply have said nothing. If you do not have anything respectful to say, then don’t say anything at all.

Insisting that you have the right to deny my my autonomy and identity by refusing to use my pronouns is not respecting me. It’s being self-centered and caring more about your own feelings more than you do mine.

This is not a “both sides are wrong” discussion. You either use my pronouns, or you misgender me. There is no third option. This is blatant transmisia and exorsexism. You are being a bigot towards me, and all the other trans people here, and this is not an opinion, it is a fact, proven by your actions, which you yourself admit you know are wrong.

Refusing to use someone’s pronouns – whether they’re cis, trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, aphorian, elsegender, or any other identity – is always bigoted.

It’s bigoted when people tell trans women they will not use their she/her pronouns. It’s bigoted when people tell trans men they will not use their he/him pronouns. It’s bigoted when they tell nonbinary people they won’t use their they/them pronouns.

And it’s still bigoted when you refuse to call me by my it/its pronouns.

If you want to respect trans and nonbinary people, that means you have to respect all of us. Even if we use neopronouns like ze/hir or star/stars. Even if we use it/its pronouns. Even if you don’t like or understand our pronouns or our identity.

If you aren’t going to respect my pronouns, then simply do not talk about me.

And if that is your intention, then you literally do not need to announce to me and everyone else that you are going to misgender me.

You are literally just hurting me (and all the trans people who now see that you won’t respect them either if they do anything you don’t like) for no reason.

Respecting trans people requires you actually respect us. If you can’t do that, then either ask respectful questions, or don’t say anything at all.

If you are struggling to use it/its pronouns without feeling like it’s disrespectful…then…you can literally just say that.

Literally just ask for help.

I am literally writing a book to help people get used to using neopronouns. I will literally be more than happy to send you stories where the protagonist uses it/its pronouns so you can train yourself to stop seeing it as inherently insulting.

If you want help learning how to use it/its pronouns without feeling bad about it, literally just say that.

But do not tell me, out of nowhere, when you weren’t part of the specific conversation beforehand, that you’re going to misgender me and I have to be okay with this because you’re doing it ‘for my own good’. You are not doing it for my own good, you’re doing it because you think your feelings about my pronouns are more important than treating me like a person.

If you flat out refuse to use my it/its pronouns, then do me the favor of not literally telling me this. There is literally no good reason to tell a trans person you’re going to misgender them. You could have simply said nothing. You could have simply asked questions instead of immediately leaping in to tell me you don’t respect me.

TLDR (too long, didn’t read): Refusing to use someone’s pronouns is always bigoted, no matter what your reasons for misgendering that person are. Misgendering someone is not a “both sides are wrong” discussion. If you misgender someone, you are in the wrong, and that doesn’t suddenly become okay because you’re also not straight, or if you’re also trans or nonbinary. If you purposefully misgender someone, you are not respecting them in any way.

And to the moderators – please do not close this thread just because some people are being disrespectful. It’s not fair to the rest of us that some people being rude means we all lose out on this place to talk . We shouldn’t all be punished just because of a few people being offensive.


I used to think all gender was a construct and why did anyone ever care about it? I don’t feel like a man or male, i just did what i was supposed to do as best i can and it seemed what everyone else was doing. Turns out i am not very gender conforming and really probably fully agender though i am not sure what to even do with this information to be honest. I don’t consider myself trans but i’d love to just not have any gender at all. But i know many trans people and have learned from them, as well as my daughter who appears to be very much cis, that inherent genders ARE a thing. Just not for me. It’s worth noting as i too am autistic that there is a VERY strong crossover between being autistic and not being cisgender.

I will admit the pronoun it is hard for me too, i was bullied a lot too and while i don’t specifically remember being called an it i was dehumanized for sure. ‘It’ also makes me think of certain horror movies. But it makes sense why you’d want to use it and i will do my best to honor it (being autistic also means i mix up language and names and stuff a lot, but i dont consider that an excuse). For what it’s worth @nonbinary-naturalist feel free to reach out if you want someone to talk to about this stuff.