The Importance of Stating Your Pronouns

Gender pronouns are defined as, “words an individual would like to use when talking to or about them.” Some examples of commonly used pronouns are “he/him/his” and “she/her/hers.” Now, someone who is transgender or gender nonconforming can choose to use pronouns that don’t conform to male/female characterizations, such as “they/them/theirs.” 

For someone growing up with the privilege of my single and visible gender identity, I never had to worry about gender pronouns. However, this is not the case for everyone, especially for transgender people. Thus, it is important to state your gender pronouns to cultivate a better sense of acceptance within our society. With trans people already facing a higher rate of discrimination compared to cis people, I believe that we should do whatever we can to show our support and normalize the fact that there are more than two binary gender roles. 

You can start normalizing stating pronouns as part of an introduction or during an icebreaker. I’ve noticed some professors start off the first day of class by asking our names, majors and pronouns. This helps to cultivate the feeling of acceptance among everyone. If you forget one’s pronouns, you can simply ask them to remind you of them. As awkward and uncomfortable as that might feel, it will definitely make the person feel more welcome and accepted.

Now, if you end up using the wrong gender pronoun for someone, simply apologize and restate the correct pronoun. Do not beat yourself up for using the wrong one. It is important to move past that moment to avoid the over-emphasis of gender pronouns since our goal is to normalize them. 

I’ve started including my pronouns, which are ‘she/her/hers,’ in my social media bios to cultivate the culture of inclusion in our community. Other ways to normalize gender pronouns include adding them to your email signatures and introducing them together with your name whenever you meet someone new. With the multiple ways one can start normalizing gender pronouns, it is definite that our society will be leaning toward more acceptance of the LGBT+ community.