What is a pronoun? You may already be familiar with the word “pronoun”. Pronouns are used in the place of a proper noun (like someone’s name). We use pronouns when referring to someone without using their name. Example: Have you seen Ben today? He has a new haircut. He is the pronoun.
Why does it matter? In English, commonly used pronouns refer to a person’s gender. (he/him/his), (she/her/hers). These are not inclusive to queer, gender non-conforming, nonbinary and transgender people. This can cause a great amount of discomfort and anxiety. There have been several studies showing the use of someone’s correct pronouns decreases the risk of depression and suicide in trans youth.
How do I use They/Them pronouns? The same as he/she pronouns! “They” is already a commonly used term whenever talking about someone when we don’t know who they are. If you are unsure of someone’s pronouns, it is acceptable to use they/them.
Example: I had lunch with Connor today. They wore the coolest glasses!
What if I make a mistake? Apologize and move on. A quick “I’m sorry” and correcting yourself shows that you care and that makes a huge difference. Drawing attention during the moment is not helpful and could be potentially harmful.
Is it okay to ask someone’s pronouns? Yes! In fact, we encourage you to introduce yourself with your pronouns. This helps create a safe and comfortable space and allows for inclusivity. Example: I’m Rosie, I use they/them pronouns.