- “He” and “she” are also made up. Language itself is made up.
- Nonbinary people have the right to define themselves just as the rest of us do.
- Their pronouns are just as valid as yours, and yours are no less arbitrary than theirs.
The failure of even many linguists to realize language as a construct is dismaying. A researcher presenting to the Edinburgh Linguistics Society gave an entire lecture informing (or to me, reminding, perhaps) that language is not a monolithic oneness but an ever-evolving piecemeal invention cobbled together by the efforts of individual speakers.
This is why, as a linguist, I feel we absolutely can, and for the sake of trans* and nonbinary persons et al, should, use whatever pronouns every person identifies with. A couple of generations using ey/eir/em or ze/hir/hirs and we won’t even think about the fact that we’re using them. It could be so easy.