I did say that there are valid reasons for talking about someone who is not present. As to the other, it is still not pleasant to speak of a person who is physically present as if they aren’t. Personally, I try to structure what I say so that I can avoid doing so as far as possible.
Now as far as I can tell, gay, transgender, and gender-fluid people have always been around, a natural state of affairs. Their social status has fluctuated with the nature of the cultures they lived in, rather more than most groups and seldom to their advantage. At the moment an awful lot of people, of all persuasions, are doing a great deal of good and necessary work to iron out social, legal and cultural inequities for these groups.
Sadly, such work often opens doors for attention-grabbers and con artists. The ‘non-binary’ phenomenon, as far as I can tell, began somewhere in the late 20th Century — at least, that’s the first time I heard or read anything about it. Now they are popping up everywhere and being strident and aggressive about it. Not in a militant way, but in a whiny, ‘look at me’ way. It worries me -what are these folk actually after? Is there an issue, or are they just posing for attention? Either way, transgender people seem content to accept the pronouns of their chosen identity, by and large, which is up to them, but the NB types seem to want us to further torment the already bruised and bloodied body of what was once the noble English tongue. Why? Why not simply accept the pronouns of the chromosomal sex you were born into? Oh wait! Then you wouldn’t be special, would you?
I’m a misanthrope, and a cynical one at that. Too few of us around these days!