Jennifer Lopez is a global superstar, an award-winning singer, a leading lady on the big screen and also a “super proud auntie” too.
The ever-busy entertainer, currently starring in NBC’s “Shades of Blue” and judging acts on “World of Dance,” shared a photo of her sister’s child, Brendan, on Instagram earlier this week.
The pic’s caption is drawing praise from adoring fans near and far.
“This is Brendan my sister Leslie’s second child!!” Lopez wrote. “They were the one person selected to represent their school at [the Global Young Leaders Conference] in Washington DC!!! And I couldn’t be more proud!!!”
This is Brendan my sister Leslie’s second child!! They were the one person selected to represent their school at #globalyoungleadersconference in Washington DC!!! And I couldn’t be more proud!!! Brendan is strong and smart and loving and a obviously a leader!! Titi Jenn loves you!! #superproudauntie #familia
Lopez’s post, which has reached millions of people around the world, isn’t just cute it’s also important.
Many commenters are applauding Lopez for using gender-neutral terminology, likely preferred by Brendan, in her post.
The caption is absent of gendered words in reference to Brendan, as Lopez adheres to terms like “person,” “they” and “their” (instead of “boy” or “girl,” “niece” or “nephew,” or “his” or “her”).
“She’s using a gender neutral pronoun,” one follower wrote alongside a smiley face, tagging a friend so they’d see the post as well. “Pronouns for the win,” one user chimed in. “Sending mucho queer love Brendan’s way,” added another, ending their comment with a line of colorful rainbow hearts.
Lopezs post demonstrates how simple it is to respect someone’s identity and use preferred pronouns. Because really, it shouldn’t be a big deal to do so.
Like most things, gender isn’t so black and white, and more and more Americans are understanding the nuances in how we all identify.
While most people are considered cisgender (that is, their gender identity corresponds with the sex they were assigned at birth), many others identify outside of what’s considered the binary; they don’t identify explicitly as a man or woman (or boy or girl).
Many people who identify outside the binary prefer gender-neutral terms, like the ones Lopez used in her Instagram post. And while using “they” instead of “he” or “she” may seem like a subtle and insignificant difference to some of us, it’s a very important distinction one that will hopefully one day become so commonplace the internet won’t be singing a celebrity’s praises every time they simply do the right thing.
Notably, however, Lopez didn’t make the post about Brendan’s gender identity or preferred pronouns she focused on Brendan as a person and how proud she is to be their aunt.
Way to go, Brendan!