Your best pal or colleague or parent has just come out to you as non-binary. Maybe they're stoked to tell you, and maybe they're terrified. Either way, you want to do everything you can do support your non-binary friend.
Even though the Pew Research Center just found that 60% of Americans have at least heard about gender-neutral pronouns, many people may still be kind of unsure of what to say or do. According to the survey results, 52% of Americans report that they would be somewhat or very comfortable using gender-neutral pronouns with someone they know. But 47% said that they would be somewhat or very uncomfortable doing so. Clearly, the gap here can create many cultural difficulties in knowing what to do or say when your friend asks you to refer to them using they/them/theirs or other gender-neutral pronouns like ze/hir/hirs.
So when someone close to you comes out as non-binary, agender, or genderqueer, listen to the words they're using. They're trying to tell you that they identify with something outside the gender they've been assigned at birth, and oftentimes, they want the pronouns people use to refer to them to match that difference. Here are seven ways you can show your person that you care about them and respect everything about who they are.