Hmmm... I disagree with some of the terminology used in this thread, and the perceived validity that is being insisted as a requirement.
I would begin with a relatively innocent question: when we discuss gender like this, at what point are we going to consider neurological science and the impacts that perspective might have on cognition?
This is important specifically when we view cognition as a physical process. :0)
Cognition is the process of thinking, and so all thought-driven concepts, including gender, fall under its purview.
Most people do not completely detach gender from physicality. Our bodies are not unphysical yet, and so we frame our language around the practicality when using those bodies.
As a consequence, it seems to me unreasonable to insist on teaching people about this idea as if it were important to a lot of people. It is a minority view in the extreme. I will discuss this at length to clarify my position.
Now, come to think of it, the reason it seems unreasonable is because it looks to me outright irresponsible and reckless to insist upon distancing yourself from a huge amount of research that seems like it could be extremely relevant to the discussion.
Now, before I am attacked for not valuing the worth of the concept independently, I want to say outright: I appreciate the intellectual concept and can even accept practical consequences arising from it! I wouldn't dream of being mean to someone who feels an emotional resonance with the discussed concepts!
However, I have yet to understand the necessity to conform to the standards of this concept as a new normative given the current statistical incidence and the overwhelming impracticality it introduces to our framing. It remains mostly impractical to assume the "non-physical" nature of gender unless someone is measurably concerned with that very concept.
Given the statistical incidence, I might assert that in fact, there are a lot of purely physical reasons one might psychologically value the concept as it stands today, despite said statistical incidence.
Is it wrong, then, for me to be hesitant to refrain in my natural compartmentalization of this issue? Or if not this issue, then more specifically the way it is being framed in this thread.
It seems useful to me to keep the issue relegated to unimportance in society, to the point of not giving much of a care about someone's personal pronouns as being different from the statistical normative at all UNTIL they point out to me their specific preference? Would you really consider that to be an insensitivity on my part, given my knowledge of the way the issue is framed by the statistical normative?
Keep in mind that I consistently use "statistical normative" as a way to describe a LACK of preference more than a specific preference: most people don't have an opinion on the issue because the issue has never occurred to them. It's not wrong for them to not know about the issue, nor is it oppressive of them.
Certainly, when people are given the full breadth of the issue, from a strictly logical progression, they generally come to a stair-step conclusion: If it is a truly necessary concept that needs exploring -- which in a logical progression we can create sheer non-trivial hypotheticals to validate "existence proofs", if you will, of the concept of the non-physical gender -- then the people who find the concept necessary simply must and so will perpetuate this concept.
This is true even if, in the minds of people pursuant of the statistical normative, those pursuant of the circumstances espoused in the exploration of the concept of the non-physical gender are recognized by the first group as statistical outliers (which is a gentle framing, but still accurate).
No, I think discounting the idea that cognition is inevitably intertwined with the physical body is currently beyond the framework for our ideas regarding the functionality of the brain as a physical organ.
Therefore, I will accept the current function of the idea of non-physical gender as being an extremely small minority, capable of asserting its validity ultimately, but not yet anywhere near terms that require major shifts in sociological interaction between groups espousing the ideas and those not espousing the ideas.
It isn't (and it will remain that way for a relatively long time) rude to assume people use the pronouns "he" or "she". I will cede that if someone does prefer something else, they have every right to want that identification from others for self-validation. I will say nothing as to the methods for securing that want, currently.
Those that appreciate the concept should, by all means, pursue the idea to its fullest, but they should not be surprised when that pursuit requires regular effort on their part to discuss the idea when the statistical likelihood of a person they are conversing with is to not expect the issue in the first place.
This is not a useful education for general audiences. This is specialist material, and I would argue it would be better to remain specialist material for a while, to hold down misconceptions in general audiences with incorrectly parsed information. In metaphorical terms: be careful, o ministers, that you don't use the wrong bible verses when you proselytize, or your values might not be properly instilled according to the Word.
No, as long as we have bodies that produce hormones at all, there will be an inevitable chemical role those bodies will play on our perception of gender, and it is not unreasonable at all to use those bodies as a basis for how we frame our language. A basis, mind you.
I look forward to a response. :0)