I haven’t yet alienated all of Tumblr, so let me elaborate on why it’s bothering me so much that people are misusing Molly’s pronouns in fics. It’s not a couple people here and there that are exploring Molly using they/them pronouns. It’s nearly every single nonbinary Molly fic in 5 months. There’s one that uses his proper pronouns, and that one was about Molly questioning his gender. That’s the problem. Because that mirrors the pattern of how actual nonbinary people who use binary pronouns are erased and invalidated. And a lot of that erasure comes from other nonbinary people, which is why I am unimpressed by “I’m nonbinary” as an appeal to authority when it’s coming from someone who doesn’t exclusively use binary pronouns.
It belies a belief that nonbinary people who use binary pronouns are less nonbinary, and therefore less relatable. That it’s necessary to “fix” Molly’s pronouns to “properly” headcanon him as nonbinary. That only by using they/them pronouns can he unlock the true nature of his gender. That it’s a message that nonbinary people who use binary pronouns are bombarded with, and it’s entirely false. It erases the complexities of people’s genders and leaves them in a limbo where binary gender doesn’t describe them, but they don’t feel validly nonbinary either.
By all means keep writing nonbinary Molly fics. Continue relating to Molly as nonbinary, genderqueer, or very gender non-conforming in whatever way makes you happy. I’m not gonna burst into your mentions and condemn you or anything. But understand that you can do that AND respect the pronouns he gave us. There are other ways to signal he’s nonbinary other than using they/them pronouns. If you don’t feel like you can, that’s an internalized a bias, and that bias does get used against real nonbinary people. That’s what I have a problem with.
I’m genderfluid(?) and use she/hers. I personally don’t mind people choosing to write a version of Molly that prefers they/them, but please don’t act like that’s the only way to express his nonbinary-ness or is the purest expression of his identity or something. And I would love to see more fics in which he is explicitly nonbinary.
I don’t have any personal experience with non-binary and/or gender fluid individuals, so I’ve always assumed that one who doesn’t identify to binary genders that use him/her would use neutral pronouns like they. Glad to be educated and I’ll be more mindful in the future!
We’re so used to the idea of solidified, classified, binary gender that hearing “nonbinary” the first thing many of us do is think “Okay, so there’s three solidified, classified genders, instead of two. Got it.” But that’s equally incorrect. The Road Model of Gender is a good way to visualize it.
We start off being told there are two cities and everyone lives in one of them, which is wrong. So then we envision there’s a third city that everyone else must live in, which is also wrong. Think about how people physically settle: there are large, concentrated population centers, but there are also suburbs, smaller cities and towns, rural areas, and hermits in the woods. That’s how gender really is, too.
So when I say my pronouns are she/her, but I’m nonbinary, I’m telling you I don’t live IN the woman city, but I live close enough to it that it’s easier to say I live near there than describe the reality. Everything we know from the text and Taliesin suggests this is similar to how Molly views his gender. He/him isn’t the whole story, but it’s close enough to still feel right. That’s important to understanding his identity.
The very fact that so many people don’t know nonbinary people who use binary pronouns even exist is why this representation is so important as it is. Not knowing that cut me off from understanding my gender for decades because I didn’t know people like me EXISTED. “But I like my pronouns. But I don’t have severe dysphoria. But I like dressing up like a girl, too.” But I’m not cis. I like visiting the amenities of the woman city frequently, but I live in a small town on the outskirts. I visit the man city frequently, too, and I spend a lot of time on the road between them, or borrowing from each.
There is no one way to be nonbinary. There’s no neat, discrete boxes we fit in. The world is larger than two cities. Nonbinary people belong to ALL of that wider world. Far from the cities, and near to them. It’s all valid. It all deserves respect and representation.