Why We Should Care About International Pronouns Day

International Pronouns Day may be a new holiday as of last year, but its credibility is limitless. Observed on the 3rd Wednesday of October, International Pronouns Day is an annual event created for the purpose of educating and respecting one other’s personal pronouns. This year’s celebration will take place on October 16. 

The first observance in 2018 included participants from 25 countries in every continent except Antarctica. Twitter hashtags like #InternationalPronounsDay and #PronounsDay trended just in time for the celebration.

While this day is a time to celebrate all types of people, its main purpose is to respect the existence of trans and gender-nonconforming people who have changed or will change their pronouns. Trans people often feel insulted when those around them do not use their stated preferred pronoun. Non-binary and non-conforming people want others to recognize the existence of "they/them."

A common question people often ask is, "What if I make a mistake?" It’s okay! Everyone can slip. It is best to quickly apologize and move on. Dwelling on a mistake can make the person feel more alienated. The best thing you can do is continue to stand by personal pronouns and speak up when you hear someone intentionally or accidentally using the incorrect pronoun.

How do you explain your decided change in pronouns to your family and friends? Not everyone can be as understanding as you may think. Intolerance is ignorance. Certainly, the individual who changes their personal pronouns understands their reasons best for the shift. However, there are ways to get others to see why a shift should be respected. Asking and then correctly using someone’s pronouns is the best way to show respect for their gender identity. Family and friends who want the best for the individual also want them to feel comfortable and be their best selves. No one wants to be dismissed. 

You may be asking, so how exactly can I take part in International Pronouns Day? Everyone of any gender is welcome to share their pronouns on their social media profiles and write pronoun-specific posts on October 16. You can also add your pronouns into your email signature! Happy International Pronouns Day everyone!