Jennifer Lopez just set the perfect example of how to respectfully address non-binary people, and her fans are loving it!
On Monday, the "World of Dance" star shared a photo of her sister's child with her 68 million Instagram followers to congratulate them on their recent accomplishment.
"This is Brendan my sister Leslie's second child!!" she wrote. "They were the one person selected to represent their school at #globalyoungleadersconference in Washington DC!!! And I couldn't be more proud!!! Brendan is strong and smart and loving and a obviously a leader!! Titi Jenn loves you!! #superproudauntie #familia❤."
JLo used the gender-neutral pronouns "they" and "their" to describe Brendan in her post. Generally, these pronouns are used for those who identify as neither gender, or who identify as both.
Fans quickly picked up on this and applauded the singer for not only using the pronouns correctly, but respecting and accepting the pronouns Brendan preferred.
"I'm legit crying those pronouns made me so happy," one Instagram user wrote. "Thanks for sharing this and congrats Brendan!!"
"jlo respecting her sisters kids pronouns i love this concept 🤧💖✊," another said.
One also added, "Refreshing to see Jlo accepts Brendan in such a profound way."
While some fans didn't quite understand the singer's caption at first, they were quick to applaud the singer as soon as they learned what the pronouns meant.
"Congrats Brendan! I totally get it now, first I thought it was a typo, but my 14 year old enlighted me. Takes time to catch up 😆," one user commented.
Although the singular "they" was declared the Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society in 2015, people are still often confused when it is used as a singular pronoun. However, today "they" is widely accepted as a non-binary pronoun.
Congrats Brendan! I totally get it now, first I thought it was a typo, but my 14 year old enlightened me. Takes time to catch up.
In 2015, Washington Post copy editor Bill Walsh said "they" is "the only sensible solution to English's lack of a gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun."
On JLo's Instagram post, some mistakenly referred to Brendan as the singer's niece or nephew. Unfortunately, there's no gender-neutral term for these identifiers, but Metro U.K. reports that many online forums use "nibling" as an alternative.
We shouldn't be surprised that Lopez is so accepting of Brendan and their preferred pronouns. After all, the singer has two kids of her own — nine-year-old twins Max and Emme — who we're sure she treats with the same respect.
Way to go, JLo!
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