Shirts Encourage Use Of Preferred Gender Pronouns, Ushering In Acceptance Of Gender Fluidity One Trendy Tee At A Time — PHOTOS

These tee shirts from Look Human acknowledge that when it comes to gender and gender identity, language matters. The apparel retailer’s line of tees encourage others to use wearers’ preferred pronouns, and allow wearers to make a statement about both their gender identity and the way they want to be addressed. In a world that is often intolerant toward people who don’t fit within strict cultural definitions of “male” and “female,” non-binary people can feel excluded or alienated from the basic structures of language itself. English, for example, is structured according to a gender binary. Our singular pronouns are limited to “him” and “her”; If you’re looking for a singular, gender neutral descriptor, you’re stuck with the awkward “one” or “it,” a word usually reserved for objects and non-human creatures. For people who don’t identify themselves within a clear gender binary or who don’t identify as cis-gendered, the gendered pronouns assigned to them at birth can thus feel uncomfortable and wrong.

People have the right to be referred to by the pronouns that feel right to them, whether those pronouns be “he” or “she,” “them,” “ze,” or something else. However, actually getting other people to call you by your preferred pronouns can be a challenge. There are, of course, jerks out there who will simply refuse to respect one’s wishes (and to them, I say, “Good riddance.”), but having the people around you refer to you in the correct way can be difficult even when those people genuinely want to be respectful. Sometimes people with the best intentions simply don’t know how to breach the subject of preferred pronouns; They may worry about creating awkwardness or even offending someone by asking. These fun tees from Look Human take away some of that potential awkwardness by allowing wearers to declare in a simple way that they don’t use gendered pronouns in the standard mode. One shirt lets wearers actually check their preferred pronouns on a list, while others explain the importance of using someone’s preferred pronouns. Even the shirts that don’t specifically name a wearer’s preferred pronoun work can as an invitation for people to ask what words that person would like them to use.

Another perk of these tees: They’re cute. There’s no reason that social commentary about the social constructedness of the gender binary can’t be fashionable, right?

Look Human, $20

Look Human, $20

Look Human, $30

Look Human, $30

Look Human, $20

Look Human, $20

Look Human, $30

Image: Look Human