Jennifer Lopez Shared What A Proud Aunt She Is On Instagram, But That's Not Why Fans Are Applauding Her

It only took one word.

Earlier this week, Jennifer Lopez took to Instagram to share a photo of her sister Leslie's child Brendan, who was chosen to attend the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C.

The post was lovely enough already, as Lopez shared what a proud aunt she is, but several fans are also praising the actress and singer for one simple detail — she used the gender-neutral pronouns "they" and "their" when referring to Brendan.


"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!!!" she wrote in the photo's caption. "Brendan is strong and smart and loving and a obviously a leader!! Titi Jenn loves you!!" 

She added the hashtags #superproudauntie and #familia.

You might notice that she also didn't refer to Brendan as her "nephew" or "niece." For some of her followers, this was a subtle but meaningful way to show support and acceptance for non-binary gender identities.

"Thank you!!!! #Pronounsmatter," one user wrote in the post's comments.

"Thank you for using the correct pronoun! While you are fabulous and talented, this post also demonstrates your sensitivity and education," another shared.

"Love your language here! What a great example to set and what a lucky kid to have such a great aunt," someone else commented.

The singular "they," which is often used by non-binary people who do not identify as exclusively male or female, was named the American Dialect Society's Word of the Year for 2015. CBS News also points out that as of March 2017, the AP Stylebook includes the use of "they" as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun.

As Paula Froke, lead editor for the AP Stylebook, explained at the time, "We offer new advice for two reasons: recognition that the spoken language uses they as singular and we also recognize the need for a pronoun for people who don't identify as a he or a she."

Non-binary individuals are frequently misunderstood or dismissed, but there have been other positive strides in recent years. In 2016, Jamie Shupe reportedly became the first person in the United States to be legally classified as non-binary. This year, the MTV Movie & TV Awards featured the first genderless acting category, which was presented by Billions star Asia Kate Dillon, who plays the first non-binary character on television.

The Huffington Post reached out to Lopez's rep for an additional comment on her post. The response they received only further proves what a great aunt she is: "Jennifer wouldn't give an additional comment, as everything she needed to say was included in the post."

We should also not forget to acknowledge Brendan's amazing achievement. As one follower wrote on Instagram, "Go Brendan! So proud of them and this awesome accomplishment!"

More From A Plus


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.