Emo pop band Panic! At The Disco wants you to use gender-neutral pronouns.
The group, a favourite of all angsty ’00s-era teenagers, has given its approval to a tweet which threw shade both at the band and people who say it’s too difficult to use ‘they’ or ‘them’ when referring to an individual.
The excellent post, composed by Entertainment Weekly correspondent and author Dana Schwartz, said: “stop pretending like it’s at ALL hard to use to ‘they/them’ pronouns when we’ve all agreed to call Brendon Urie ‘Panic! at the Disco’ even though we know it’s just him.”
Although he is joined on tours by guitarist Kenneth Harris, drummer Dan Pawlovich and bassist Nicole Row, Urie is the only official member of the band.
He has been regularly made fun of for this fact.
But Urie took the ribbing in a good-natured fashion, responding by quote-tweeting the post and writing above it: “This tweet is Panic! At The Disco approved 👏👏👏.”
The tweet went viral, attracting more than 130,000 likes and retweets.
It’s not his – or the band’s – first time supporting LGBT rights.
In 2014, the US singer hit back at Westboro Baptist Church for recording a parody of one of his songs and picketing his show.
The anti-gay church released a cover of the song “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” titled “You Love Sin What A Tragedy.”
Lyrics to the homophobic song included: “Oh! You all say / It’s okay to be gay / Because practically fag marriage will stay / Well this calls for some truth / You’re all insane, fags are profane.”
In response, Urie pledged to donate $20 to LGBT charity Human Rights Campaign for every person who picketed his concert in Kansas City, Missouri.
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Just 13 protestors from the church showed up, resulting in a $160 donation – but Urie rounded this up.
The band posted on its Facebook page: “Thank you to the Westboro Baptist Church for the update on the total amount you donated to Human Rights Campaign today. $20×13= weak.
“We’re going to make it an even $1,000. We will also be donating 5% of our total merch sales from this show to HRC.”
In 2013, Urie opened up about his sexuality, saying: “I find myself being attracted to dudes all the time. I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s a beautiful man.’
“There’s no shame in it; that’s how I feel. To stifle that would probably bring on stress and probably make somebody homophobic.
“I guess if I had to classify myself, I’d say I’m straight. But I have, in the past, experimented in other realms of homosexuality and bisexuality. Overall I’m more attracted to women.”
It’s really not that hard or new to use gender-neutral pronouns.
After all, Merriam-Webster included a gender-neutral pronoun in its dictionary all the way back in 1934.
Back when homosexuality was illegal, trans rights were unheard of and gender was widely presumed to be completely binary, the company’s unabridged dictionary featured the pronoun “thon” – short for “that one” – and continued to include the word until 1961.