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Pronouns are important

I was at a coffee shop in Seattle; one that is very popular among the LGBT community. This is my spot to hang out with close friends and read on Sundays. Currently, I am reading The Martian  by Andy Weir.

There was this person there with really cool looking dog and I asked to pet it. I specifically said “Can I pet him?” and then asked “Wait, sorry, is it him or her?” The person responded kindly, “Oh, my dog doesn’t really identify with he or she.”

I walked to get my coffee and sat down. At that moment, I realized, “Oh fuck, I just said only two pronouns.” I went back, pet the dog again, and said to the person:

“Hey, this is random, but I realized when I was asking about your dog I only said two pronouns and am sorry. I didn’t mean to only give two options and it is a bad habit of mine.”

I think this person was a bit surprised, and said they didn’t think anything of it but thought it was kind to acknowledge it.

I’m glad I went back and mentioned something. Not so much that it was important to that person, but for me to get it right.

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