[CLASS] I swim. You swim. We swim. [TEACHER] Very good, everyone. Now, Farhad, do you swim? [FARHAD] I swim. [TEACHER] Everyone, Farhad swims. So… [CLASS] He swims. [TEACHER] Good. Now let’s conjugate the verb ‘to swim’ with the other pronouns. [CLASS] She swims. They swim. [TEACHER] Zir swims. Ze swims. Sie sw….what’s wrong? [LUIS] I no understand. [TEACHER] That’s okay, ‘I *don’t* understand.’ And that’s alright, Luis! So, ‘I’ is the first person pronoun used when you’re referring to yourself. [FARHAD] I swim! [TEACHER] Correct! [LUIS] Yes, I understand ‘I,’ pero I no understand what is that? [TEACHER] Oh, they are all gender-neutral pronouns. [YUKI] What does that mean? [TEACHER] Gender-neutral pronouns are what you use when you’re referring to someone who doesn’t want to be referred to by traditional masculine or feminine pronouns, like ‘he’ or ‘she.’ [YUKI] So, not a boy, not a girl? [TEACHER] That’s right, Yuki. [LUIS] Is he gay? [TEACHER] No, well, not necessarily. [LUIS] My brother, he gay. Is he one of them? [TEACHER] Do you know your brother’s preferred pronouns? [LUIS] I don’t know. My family no speak to him. [TEACHER] Okay, cultures are different. It’s important when studying and practicing English that you stay sensitive to the pronouns of others. [FARHAD] Not boy, not girl… [TEACHER] Uh, that’s a table, Farhad. ‘It’ is a table. You see, the table didn’t choose its gender, objects can’t do that. But people can! For example, what is Yuki? [FARHAD] Girl? [TEACHER] Well, maybe! We don’t want to misgender Yuki! [YUKI] Yes, I am a girl! [TEACHER] Ehh, you could be. [YUKI] I am! [TEACHER] Yeah, but you could also be someone who was assigned female at birth, but now identifies as non-binary, so we would in fact use a gender-neutral pronoun for you, like ‘Ze.’ [LUIS] What is ‘assign’? Is homework? [TEACHER] Uh, no no, ‘assign’ is how you look on the outside. But how you feel on the inside, that is how we identify. [FARHAD] I-dentify swims! [TEACHER] Really, Farhad? [YUKI] I am confused. [TEACHER] You shouldn’t be confused, Yuki! [YUKI] Sorry. [TEACHER] It’s really not that hard, you guys. There’s only 63 pronouns! [YUKI] 63 pronouns!?! [TEACHER] Yes! And it’s important before speaking to anyone that you ask, ‘what is your preferred gender pronoun?’ [LUIS] I have to ask everyone that? [TEACHER] Yes. Of course! Luis, what if you accidentally referred to a ‘Ze’ as a ‘Za’? Wouldn’t you be embarrassed? [LUIS] No? [TEACHER] Of course you would! You should be embarrassed! And you know what else? It’s offensive! Right? [LUIS] Right? [TEACHER] And you want to be a gender ally, right? [LUIS] Right… [TEACHER] You’re not learning English to be a bigot, are you? [LUIS] Okay… [TEACHER] Alright! Luis gets it. Okay, so who is still confused? [TEACHER] S**t. [FARHAD] S**t swims!