Hi! A little background info before I get to the question.
I work at a summer camp that does afterschool care and hosts school groups during the school year. We had a middle school group come yesterday to do some high ropes stuff (zipline, giant swing) and teambuilding as part of their AVID class.
One of my coworkers was talking about one of the kids to another coworker, but was very obviously unsure of the child's preferred pronouns because she looked at them and said "he or she?" and to me that came off as rude because (1) there are more than 2 pronouns and (2) it meant that she was trying to guess their gender and I dunno that just puts me off? And the kid looked really annoyed that she could not tell their preferred pronoun was "he" just from their appearance.
In a situation like this, what do you think is the best way to get preferred pronouns? Or is it generally less rude to use a gender-neutral pronoun for everyone until they specify? (such as "they" because the people I work around are in no way progressive or into social justice and would not know what I was talking about if I used other gender-neutral pronouns).
Surprisingly this is the first time that I have seen this issue in almost a year of working there, but I have a feeling that it will come up again and I want to be sure that I know how to handle it better in the future.