Why Is Dawud Referred to as They in the Book Court

Why Is Dawud Referred to as “They” in the Book Court?

In the book Court by Catie Disabato, the character Dawud is referred to as “they” instead of using gendered pronouns. This unique choice by the author sparks curiosity and prompts questions about the significance and intention behind such a depiction. In this article, we will explore the reasons why Dawud is referred to as “they” and what it signifies in the context of the book Court.

The use of “they” as a pronoun for Dawud is attributed to their gender identity, which is non-binary. Non-binary individuals do not identify strictly as male or female, and instead, they encompass a range of gender identities that transcend the binary classification. By using “they” as the pronoun, the author acknowledges Dawud’s non-binary identity and respects their gender expression.

One of the main reasons why Dawud’s non-binary identity is significant in the story is because it challenges societal norms and traditional gender roles. By representing Dawud as non-binary, the author challenges the reader to question the restrictive nature of gender roles and encourages a more inclusive and diverse understanding of gender. It also highlights the importance of recognizing and respecting individual identities beyond the binary framework.

Furthermore, Dawud’s non-binary identity allows for a more nuanced exploration of their character. By avoiding the use of gendered pronouns, the focus shifts to Dawud’s personality, experiences, and actions, rather than being limited by societal expectations associated with gender. This allows the reader to connect with Dawud on a deeper level, beyond the constraints of gender stereotypes.

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By using “they” as the pronoun, the author also emphasizes the importance of language in shaping our perceptions and understanding of gender. Language plays a significant role in how we conceptualize gender, and the choice to use a gender-neutral pronoun challenges the linguistic norms that often reinforce binary gender identities. It invites the reader to question and expand their own understanding of gender and the language they use to describe it.


Q: Is the use of “they” as a singular pronoun grammatically correct?
A: While traditionally “they” has been used as a plural pronoun, its usage as a singular pronoun has gained acceptance in recent years. Many style guides now recognize it as a gender-neutral pronoun. It reflects the evolving nature of language to be more inclusive and accommodating of diverse gender identities.

Q: Why is representation of non-binary characters important in literature?
A: Representation of non-binary characters in literature is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it validates the existence and experiences of non-binary individuals, who are often marginalized and underrepresented. Secondly, it helps to broaden the understanding and acceptance of gender diversity among readers. Lastly, it provides non-binary individuals with relatable characters and narratives, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment.

Q: What impact does the use of “they” have on the reader’s experience?
A: The use of “they” for Dawud encourages readers to question and challenge their own assumptions about gender. It prompts a more critical examination of societal norms and expectations, pushing the reader to consider the complexity and fluidity of gender identities. It also creates a more inclusive reading experience, allowing non-binary readers to see themselves represented in literature.

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In conclusion, the choice to refer to Dawud as “they” in the book Court serves multiple purposes. It highlights their non-binary identity, challenges traditional gender roles, and invites readers to question their own perceptions of gender. By doing so, the author creates a more diverse and inclusive narrative that reflects the experiences of non-binary individuals. This representation is not only important for non-binary readers but also contributes to a broader understanding and acceptance of gender diversity in society.