What are they/them In French? Is there a good way to come out to your parents?

What are they/them In French
Is there a good way to come out to your parents



Hi Alfie!


Thanks for reaching out to AlterHeros! 


We actually have a few gender neutral pronouns in french. The most popular are iel and ille (remixes between il and elle). El, y, ul, ol, al and ael are some other examples I’ve heard of.


The thing about french is that it’s a language with genders pretty much every other word. It’s pretty annoying. I wrote a small guide (in english) about gender neutral grammar practices in french in another question here, but it’s far from being exhaustive. Please write to us if you have any other questions on the topic. 🙂


As for coming out to your parents, I don’t think there is one perfect way to do it that would work with every parent. A lot of it depends on who you and they are, and what your relationship is like. It can be a very quick and simple interaction, or it can be more researched and rehearsed. Some parents surprise us, some have the reactions we expected. Some are very understanding, some need more time and/or reassurance. They could already be knowledgeable or not, they could ask you a lot of questions or decide to do their own research. But there are some things that you can do to prepare and make the process a bit easier. 


You could start by bringing up the subject in general before coming out, to see what they think about sexual and gender diversity. If they appear biased or have the wrong info, you could start the work of correcting and educating them. Maybe you would have an easier time coming out first to someone else you feel close to, a friend, sibling or cousin your age for instance? Coming out to your parents can be a big step and it can help to have some practice.


Trying to think about your motivations could help you figure out what to say. 

  • Why is coming out important to you? Why is it to them? Why now?

Thinking about how to do it is also an important step.

  • When? In what context? By writing or in person? What do you want to say? What would you like to change after? (Do you want them to use a new name and pronouns? A haircut? An appointment with a medical professional to get hormone replacement therapy?)


Finally here are a few things you could read if you have the time and energy


In the end though, your safety and comfort are what matter most. Your decision to come out or not doesn’t invalidate or reduce your identity. Some people don’t feel the need or desire to talk to their parents about their gender and/or sexuality and that’s okay too.


Hope this helps! We’re here if you have more questions 🙂


Please be safe,


Maxime, peer support agent for AlterHeros

Iel/they/them, accords neutres