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LGBTQ+ Library Guide: Singular They

Welcome to the LaGuardia Community College Library's guide to LGBTQ and queer studies resources. Here you'll find links to selected library resources both in print and online, as well as sources to help you with research.

What the style guides say

  • APA: Singular “they” is covered in Section 4.18 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition
    • Always use a person’s self-identified pronoun, including when a person uses the singular “they” as their pronoun. 
    • Also use “they” as a generic third-person singular pronoun to refer to a person whose gender is unknown or irrelevant to the context of the usage.
    • Do not use “he” or “she” alone as generic third-person singular pronouns. Use combination forms such as “he or she” and “she or he” only if you know that these pronouns match the people being described.
    • Do not use combination forms such as “(s)he” and “s/he.” 
    • If you do not know the pronouns of the person being described, reword the sentence to avoid a pronoun or use the pronoun “they.” [From https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/grammar/singular-they] 

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