rules of engagement
here we list some general guidance on how to talk to/about us as a plural system. the set of questions is mostly adapted from this plural etiquette questionnaire.
hold on, what's “plural”?
we're a group of people sharing one body. if this is a new concept to you, we recommend More Than One for a crash course. The Layman's Guide to Multiplicity and Healthy Multiplicity will give you a more in-depth look.
how should i refer to you collectively? individually?
we don’t have a ‘singletsona’, so refer to us as you would any group of people. that means we're ‘they’ not because they're “plural pronouns”, but because they're literally the third person plural pronouns of the english language. if it helps, think of “allium house” like a band name. or, we may jocularly refer to ourselves as an adventuring party - you're free to do this too. as for individual members, we list names, pronouns and language preferences on our respective pages.
as far as plural terminology goes: generally speaking, we go for ‘plural’ over ‘multiple’. we don't have a strong preference on ‘system’ over other words like ‘collective’. that being said, please be mindful not to box us in with our plurality. don’t refer to us collectively when it’s not relevant. we’re only headmates in the context of being related to our fellow system members, and plurans when talking about plurality – otherwise, we’re just people.
also, don’t use the word alter. just like, in general.
who am i most likely to interact with?
we (ostensibly) work on a ten-day schedule of which mord and joey split the majority, so probably one of those guys. vince and mads get just a day or two in the middle, and neither of them are particularly social anyway.
what should i do if i don't know who i'm speaking to?
we do a pretty good job of telegraphing who's speaking, but in case we don’t, you can just ask.
is it okay to ask if i can talk to someone who isn't present at the moment?
we don’t consider it rude, but it’s often impractical because we keep a pretty tight schedule. feel free to ask us to pass a message along, or try and schedule something in advance. we might be able to make a cofront happen if it’s really urgent, but we make no promises.
if i talk to one of you, will other system members be aware of the conversation?
the only way someone else will hear a conversation as it's happening is if they’re in the front room too. memory barriers between individuals are pretty strong as long as we don’t poke at them too much, but they’re not airtight. in particular, if you’re trying to keep gifts a secret, that’s not gonna work.
what should i do when talking to people who don't know you're plural?
you’d probably be doing us a favour by explaining plurality to them. feel free to direct them to this page, if it helps.but i'm worried about repercussions if the person isn't understanding!
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ that's the risk of allyship. we don't hide our plurality, you don't either.
can i ask you a question about your plurality that isn’t listed here?
probably! educating people on your experiences is a tiresome job for any kind of marginalized person, but it's one we've decided we're willing to undertake. if a point of contact is listed on someone’s page, you can assume they’re happy to be reached there.