The Associated Press made an inclusive acknowledgement of the spectrum of gender identity on Friday by announcing that the 2017 AP Stylebook will contain the singular “they” pronoun.
The AP Stylebook provides guidelines for journalists for everything from punctuation to, in this instance, how to refer to marginalized communities.
According to the AP, while the singular “they” will be included in the print edition of the 2017 stylebook later this year, the change has already gone into effect for online subscribers.
A portion of the entry reads:
In stories about people who identify as neither male nor female or ask not to be referred to as he/she/him/her: Use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or otherwise reword the sentence, whenever possible. If they/them/their use is essential, explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun. Be sure that the phrasing does not imply more than one person…
“They” is oftentimes used as a singular pronoun by individuals who don’t feel comfortable identifying with he/his or she/hers pronouns.