Illi Anna Heger’s Grammatical Futurity
Heger’s Xier packt xiesen Koffer is the culmination of many iterations of thinking, writing about, and illustrating their discontent with the binary structure of personal pronouns in the German language. The comic-zine Xier itself provides some of its history, but a complete picture of Heger’s musings and long-term commitment to the creation and usage of gender-neutral pronouns in German fully emerges when Xier is read in tandem with their original blog posts. These posts mirror the evolution of Heger’s meditations on gender-neutral pronouns with an evolution in form from blog posts to differing media (a mini-comic, then the comic-zine).
Gender-inclusive language in German teaching
Article by Steffen Kaupp for the Website of Goethe-Institut, translated by Eric Rosencrantz , 01.09.2020
Needless to say, gender-inclusive instruction doesn’t stop at nouns. Starting with the neologism xier, a whole set of non-binary third-person pronouns coined by the German trans community is also catching on. You’ll find detailed instructions on how to use these personal pronouns on Illi Anna Heger’s website. As with gender-neutral nouns, the main thing is to raise learners’ awareness of these pronouns, so they don’t have to be covered in detail and discussed at great length.
Together in Colour
Article by Daniel Welsch for the Website of Goethe-Institut, translated by Faith Ann Gibson, 17.7.2020
Illi Anna Heger created one of these alternatives, the non-binary pronoun “xier.” “My pronoun, the xier pronoun, it is sometimes used by trans people, but a lot of people on the trans spectrum are actually using he and she pronouns,” says Illi Anna Heger. “This is something the person in question should decide. Xier is not a trans pronoun per se, it’s a pronoun that could be helpful for non-binary people and that could be used to talk about everybody when you don’t know the genders.”
I usually recommend „xier“
Tweet von @cuffedCatling, 30.06.2020,
I usually recommend „xier“. Not because it is the most used pronoun by nonbinary people (it isn’t, and there isn’t one), but because it is one of the oldest german neopronouns for the current generation of queers, and because all the alternatives have big flaws in my opinion
— hungryKitten (@cuffedCatling) June 30, 2020
Please Don’t Gender Me! – Strategies for Inclusive Language Instruction in a Gender-Diverse Campus Community
Book Chapter by Angineh Djavadghazaryans, pages 269-287 in “Diversity and Decolonization in German Studies”, ISBN 978-3-030-34341-5, Palgrave Macmillan Cham, 13.02.2020.
The German language does now have gender-neutral options that have been introduced by and are common in the trans community in Germany. […] As these language patterns have not been officially adapted into the language, there exist no universally accepted options and new language forms are still emerging […] Just like English, German has several sets of gender-neutral prouns. The most commonly used and most developed throughout the cases appears to be xier (Xier geht heute einkaufen) while x, nin, seis, sei , sif and sier are lesser known options.
Will a New Law Forever Change the German Language?
Article by Madhvi Ramani for smithsonianmag.com, 28.02.2018
Artist Anna Heger’s suggestion of xier as a personal pronoun, with nouns referring to people modified by an underscore to be made gender neutral (Lehr_erin), could be used for people who do not identify as either male or female as well as when gender is irrelevant.