Pronouns are personal -- they're words used to replace your name in a sentence, the words that stand-in for you and your identity in small but meaningful ways. Slam poet Justice Gaines brings us to the moment of sharing those special words with someone you love in the poem "Letter From Xem."
There are way more pronouns than just he/him/his she/her/hers or they/them/their: Words built to carve out some much needed space in an inhospitable language. Gaines shares just one of these alternatives -- xe/xem/xyr -- in a letter to xyr mom that covers the complex minefield of emotions a person can go through when coming out to a parent or another loved one. You feel every bit of heartbreak, fear, anxiety and love Gaines feels and it's a must-watch if you've never really got the whole pronoun thing.
"All I have are three new pronouns, they all start with X: xe, xem, xyr," Gaines said. "I crossed out the beginnings, but I didn't erase them. You just have to look a little harder to know what they said."