Is it possible to be gender neutral in french?
I have a couple of friends who are gender fluid, and taking to/about them in French is tough. I would use 'Il', since it means 'it', but 'Il' makes it seem like I am saying 'he' as opposed to 'it'. In English I would say they, but that would be ils or elles and those are used to talk of multiple people. I understand that French is a very gendered language, but I was wondering if there is a way around this problem.
It seems there are a few possiblilities for gender neutral language in french, though I don’t think any are ‘official’. I think the best thing to do would be to ask your friends, if they are french or studying french themselves, perhaps they already know which pronouns they prefer. Things get a bit tricky in french because of the adjectives and accords. However I did find some guides online that might help you. They are in french but the video https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=391FDu67ejg is a blogger with suggestions of how to address a gender neutral person is subtitled, so hopefully it can help. This article https://entousgenresblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/quels-pronoms-neutres-en-francais-et-comment-les-utiliser/ has a helpful infographic at the bottom.
My friend Florence has written on this subject: