Today, the third Wednesday of October, is International Pronouns Day!
Pronouns are words we use to refer to people in place of their name. He/him/his, she/her/hers, and they/them/theirs are the most common pronouns used to refer to people in English (but there are many others!). Some languages, like Hungarian, don’t have gendered pronouns.
Here’s a video explaining what pronouns are, and why it’s important to get them right:
Simply put, using people’s correct pronouns is respectful — and not using their correct pronouns is disrespectful.
Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.pronounsday.org
If you need a metaphor to help you understand what it feels like to get misgendered, well, I’ve got a blog post (and a zine!) for that.
What’s an easy thing I can do, as an ally, to make other people feel more comfortable sharing their pronouns?
The easiest thing you can do is to share your pronouns. Normalizing this behavior makes it so much better for everyone!
Places you can share your pronouns include:
- Instant messenger services, like Discord and Slack
- Zoom (make them “always visible”)
- Social media, including LinkedIn
- Verbally, when introducing yourself to someone new. “Hi, I’m so-and-so, and I use XYZ pronouns.”
First off, don’t panic! There are some easy do’s and don’ts for that situation. I’ve got a blog post and a zine for that as well. (The really short version is to acknowledge the mistake, apologize briefly, and continue the conversation.)
Practice using people’s correct pronouns when they aren’t around. There’s even a song for that, from The Doubleclicks (written by Sunday Comes Afterwards):
Happy International Pronouns Day, everyone! 🎉
🌈 Guess what? I wrote a book on Queer Qabala, and you can buy it now! 🌈
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