International Pronouns Day
Today is International Pronouns Day: a day to educate ourselves and commit to creating a world that affirms and respects all people.
Check out our guide on using pronouns below.
Pronouns are an important way to show respect to trans and cis people alike.
When we are misgendered it sends the message "I don't see you. I don't value your humanity."
Be kind and always use a person's chosen pronouns and name.
Never Assume Pronouns
It's impossible to tell a person's pronouns by appearance. Use gender neutral language until you know otherwise.
Once you become aware of a person's pronouns, it is misgendering to continue using gender neutral pronouns or first name. You have to try. Mistakes will happen. Do it anyway.
Trans and nonbinary people can't do this alone.
Introduce yourself with pronouns. Ask about pronouns. Add your pronouns to bios, social media profiles, Zoom and email signatures. Attach your pronouns to your name whenever possible.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
This is the only way to develop new affirming habits. One way to practice is by telling stories about the person using their new name and pronouns when they are not around.
Practice with a friend. Practice using a plant Practice on your pet. Just practice!
Mistakes will happen as we learn and grow. Trans people can handle mistakes as long as an effort is being made.
If you slip up, quickly apologize, correct yourself, and move on. Don't make excuses or center your feelings.
If you're corrected, say "thank you." Apologizing puts unnecessary pressure on the trans person to console you and say "it's OK," when it's not OK.
Remember that pronouns can change over time. Check in with people. Be the person someone can try on new names or pronouns with.
Also, when talking about someone before their transition always use the name and pronouns the person currently uses.
Coming Out is a Process
Not everyone has the privilege to be out in all situations. If someone comes out or confides in you, get consent about who and where you can use their new name and pronouns. Remember, it is never OK to out someone.
Hold Individuals and Institutions Accountable
If you witness someone using the wrong pronouns, support trans and non-binary folks by correcting them.
Hold organizations accountable and advocate for pronouns to be added to intake forms, meeting introductions, name tags, email signatures, and computer systems.
Do Your Research And Be An Agent for Change
Advocate for policies that offer protection for gender identity and expression, including misgendering.
Speak up when others are being misgendered and harassed.
Do your own research about trans issues and advocate for inclusive policies and human rights for all.