A heartfelt poem about accepting a loved one's non-binary gender identity has gone viral on Twitter.
Theo Nicole Lorenz, a writer and artist from St. Paul in Minnesota, shared the poem written by their 73-year-old aunt for her church writing group.
The poem reads:
This person I know
Wants to be called a they.
It could bring us much closer
To see them that way.
It's a strange thing to think
And harder to say,
But they is so happy
When the effort is made.
For all the theys and thems
It is this that I pray,
We kind and accepting
And just let them be they.
Lorenz's tweet sharing the poem has now been retweeted 24,000 times and liked more than 106,00 times.
Lorenz has since shared more details about their aunt, telling followers that "she was a belly dancer in Alaska in the 70s", is "listed as co-inventor on all of my late uncle's workout machine patents", and "does woodburning and carving and taught me the first one". Basically, she sounds like a pretty incredible woman.
Meanwhile, the poem has clearly struck a chord with other people learning to accept and embrace non-binary gender identities. "Didn't realize I was being a tad judgmental about some of our daughter's college friends...one in transition, one nonbinary...then I met them," one person tweeted at Lorenz. "Your aunt's poem expresses my own transition to embracing their choices, diversity and kindness. They've seen a few things in this world."
Another tweeted: "So I’m older (60s) and the term they was totally new to me. Until I recently read Radian Shimmering Light in which one of the main characters preferred to be referred to as they. It felt awkward, to me, at first, but nothing unusual by end of the book. And they was so kind."
Chelsea Clinton has even praised the poem, calling it "beautiful and wise".