Happy International Pronouns Day!
If you’re not aware, International Pronouns Day has been taking place every 3rd Wednesday of October since 2018. The purpose of the day is to educate about the importance of respecting and sharing personal gender pronouns.
Ok but what’s the big deal about pronouns?
Pronouns are a basic building block of grammar. However, transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people are often referred to with pronouns that do not match their identities. This is because we currently live in a society where gender is often assumed based on one’s outward appearance. Not everyone is cisgender (i.e. identifies as the gender they were assigned at birth), and not everyone uses the binary pronouns she/her or he/him. According to the Trevor Project, ‘1 in 4 LGBTQ youth use pronouns or pronoun combinations that fall outside the binary construction of gender’.
So why would I share my pronouns if I’m cisgender?
I’m a cisgender female, so people refer to me with the correct pronouns (she/her) without me having to sharing them first. I look female, so people assume I’m female. That is a privilege that many trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people do not have. It’s important that cisgendered folks especially make an effort to share our pronouns because it a) signals that we do not assume gender based on physical appearance, name, etc and b) lets others know that they are welcome to share their own pronouns. This is incredibly important in a school setting because all kinds of families are part of our communities. We cannot assume that every student, sibling, parent, or family member is cisgender. By sharing our pronouns, we make it clear that we are intentionally inclusive.
Here are some places you can display your pronouns
- your email signature (both personal and professional)
- your social media display name: This makes your pronouns immediate visible in direct messages so people don’t have to click on your profile to find them
- your Zoom, GoogleMeet, Skype, Discord (etc) name
- your work ID or badge: You can write in sharpie or place a sticker. If you use a lanyard, you can also attach a pin. I personally have a lanyard with my pronouns printed directly on it that I purchased from Get With the Pronouns.
- your name tag at conferences: I usually write mine directly on it
- your workspace, office, or classroom: Ace (@teachingoutsidethebinary on insta) linked some printables in their stories.
If you want to start sharing and asking others about pronouns but you’re not sure how to get the conversation started, you can find a lot of helpful resources here.
How will you be sharing your pronouns today??