Linguistic means of expressing non-binarity

Introducing the first text from the Manual of the Czech Language Queering by Jamie Rose.

“If we want to talk about non-binary people in Czech in a way that is respectful to them, we must defy centuries-old norms and ossified rules.

Especially in the early days of this defiance, where we still are, alternative varieties of Czech can seem quite “unnatural”.

But we must remember that we, as a society, determine what is “natural” and what is not. It’s a bit like learning a new language – it may sound strange at first, but gradually you get the hang of it.” 

We are introducing the first text from the Manual of the Czech Language Queering. Read the full text and download the PDF at the end of this text.

Jamie Rose(she/her) is a trans activist and a graduate student in American Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University. She has a long-standing interest in trans literature and trans history. Her interests in literature, history, and transness are strongly intertwined with the issue of gendered language and its development, which over time led Jamie to participate in the Queering Project. Her perspective is strongly influenced not only by personal experience but also by political efforts to de-institutionalize language.

The text is part of the Manual of the Czech Language Queering, a collection of texts that address the topic of gender-inclusive Czech, its forms and issues related to its use in different contexts.

Texts from the collection are published on our website.

Ilustration: Eli Sočněva, Graphics: Jozef Mrva

The project is realized with the support of the City of Prague, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Municipality of Prague 7 and the State Fund for Culture.