A person’s pronouns convey their gender identity. Transgender, gender nonconforming, gender-fluid, non-binary, and other LGBTQ+ people use a wide variety of pronouns that affirm who they are. Using someone’s self-defined pronouns respects all identities on the spectrum.
Small things you can do to make a difference
- First, know that it is likely you will make a mistake. If so, apologize, correct yourself, and move on.
- If you hear someone using the incorrect pronoun you can gently correct them.
- Avoid assuming people’s gender identity (who they know themselves to be on the inside) based on their gender expression (what they present on the outside).
- If you are in a group setting, avoid using terms like guys/ladies; try using neutral terms like people, folks, y’all, or yinz.
- The best way to avoid mistakes is to practice using gender-neutral pronouns whenever and wherever you can or refer to people by their name.
Gender is just as fluid as language. Always ask for someone’s pronouns, as they may change.
One way to do that is:
Using Pronouns in Conversation