Hi Paul Ierymenko, thanks for reading and responding. In response to this portion of your comment:
“I don’t think I’ve ever read a newspaper article or really anything anywhere written for public consumption where any person is actually referred to using one of these new pronouns. I do see ‘they’ used to refer to a single individual without identifying their sex or gender, but that’s it.”
Did you know that “singular they” (when referring to a single person, even when gender is known/stated) is not “new?” In fact, it goes all the way back to 1375. Merriam-Webster also notes the great usefulness of singular they when referring to non-binary people, and they chose it as the 2019 word of the year. The APA warmly adopted and added it to their 7th edition. And Grammarly did a nice job highlighting several of the other big style guides who’ve adopted singular they — not only as everyone commonly uses it, but also, for those who intentionally use it to be inclusive and respectful.
I’m the mom of a trans nonbinary teen (who has been using “singular they” for the past five years), so everything I write concerning them makes full use of singular they, and it’s all for public consumption — many people have read and seen my stories and articles over the past four or so years. But I’m just one person, and by no means am I particularly important.
So, I submit the following other places where you can see singular they in print:
These two quotes (but there are thousands more):
“Poor Julia, the only one out of the nine not tolerably satisfied with their lot…” — Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
“She kept her head and kicked her shoes off, as everybody ought to do who falls into deep water in their clothes.” — C. S. Lewis, Voyage of the Dawn-Treader
Classic authors who used singular they:
Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, the King James Bible, Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe, Frances Sheridan, Oliver Goldsmith, Henry Fielding, Maria Edgeworth, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Robert Louis Stevenson, Walt Whitman, George Bernard Shaw, Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, H. G. Wells, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edith Wharton, W. H. Auden, Lord Dunsany, and George Orwell (among other classic writers).
Modern writers who go by singular they and/or incorporate it into their writing:
Travis Alabanza, Before I Step Outside [You Love Me]
Kacen Callender, award-winning & best selling author
Alex Gino, award-winning children’s book author
CN Lester, writer, musician, academic, author, and leading LGBTI activist
Jacob Tobia, author, actor, writer, producer
Jeffrey Marsh, best-selling author & activist
Websites & Other:
Culture/Entertainment/News/Health/Style website, Them
Facebook, which — in 2014 — began offering users a customizable gender and gender pronoun option
Finally, I’ll leave you with this excerpt, from beloved, respected author & linguist Geoff Nunberg, who was gone too soon. (From NPR’s “Fresh Air,” Jan. 13, 2016 program, regarding the use of “singular they” for non-binary individuals):
“A lot of people tell you it sets their teeth on edge, but my guess is that they’re not listening to themselves very attentively. Everyone uses singular “they,” whether they realize it or not. In an engaging recent book called Between You & Me, the New Yorker’s self-designated comma queen Mary Norris says that that use of “they” is “just wrong.” But flip back a few pages and you find her writing “Nobody wanted to think they were not essential.” If that sentence got by a New Yorker copy editor in her own book on grammar, what hope is there for anybody else? If you insist on coming down on singular “they,” it’s best to be a bit ironic about it, since you’re almost certainly going to be making a hypocrite of yourself before the day is out.”