Hilary Mantel said recently that she had been ‘misgendered’ in a university publication by being referred to as ‘they’, not ‘she’. She says she was not singled out; all other alumni were similarly referred to as 'they', not 'he' or 'she'.
From La Republica
"I recently found myself ‘misgendered.’ I received a university publication, with news items relating to alumni, where I was referred to as ‘they,’ not ‘she.’ My books were ‘their books.’ I wasn’t singled out – the other alumni were similarly treated."
"I thought, ‘Being a woman means a lot to me. My sense of it has been tested. I have thought deeply about it. I value it, even though it has meant struggle and pain. I do not want my womanhood confiscated in print. It is not right to deprive an individual of identity on a whim, and make him or her into something neuter, plural. I have not given my consent to become a grammatical error.’"
So my question is: where it's known that 'they' is being used for the singular, which of the following is now considered grammatically correct: “They are a graduate”? Or “They is a graduate”?