We use pronouns in everyday speech and writing. They are used in place of taking people’s names. Traditionally, the gender pronouns we use were gender implied meaning that these gender pronouns were associated with being masculine or feminine.
However, with the development of LGBTQ+ communities and the spirit of leaving non-inclusive traditions, it is time for us to respect everyone’s identity. And the best way to do that is to learn. Because using the right gender pronouns, and learning when we make mistakes is the best way to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.
So here are some of the most commonly used pronouns:
“I cooked with her”
“That is hers”
“She ate by herself”
“I cooked with him”
“That is his food”
“That is his”
“He ate by himself”
“I cooked with them”
“That is theirs”
“They ate by themselves”
“I cooked with hir”
“That is hirs”
“Ze ate by hirself”
This table does not represent an exhaustive list of gender pronouns that are used. However, it is a starting point to learn gender pronouns and be inclusive.
Also, some people prefer not to have or use pronouns at all. So in this situation, you can them just by calling their name instead of using a pronoun.
Remember that it is considered offensive to refer to a person as “it”. Therefore, avoid using “it” as a pronoun against trans and gender-nonconforming individuals.
Also read: Things You Should Never Say To Your LGBTQ Members
So you must be wondering how to be inclusive in using gender pronouns?
You can be gender inclusive by incorporating gender pronouns in everyday use. Also, follow some of the strategies that can behave in respecting gender pronouns:
- Start your introduction with names and pronouns. When you introduce yourself with your preferred pronoun, it will be comfortable for you to ask what the other person’s preferred pronoun is. It is preferable to feel awkward or uncomfortable rather than making assumptions about someone’s identity. For example- “Hi! My name is John and my pronouns are he, him, and his.”, “What are your preferred gender pronouns?”
- You can also include this practice in a written form of communication. Start by including your pronouns in your email signature.
- Check-in with people about their pronouns from time to time as pronounce can change over time.
- Similarly, educate yourself through online resources or talking to someone who might be more knowledgeable on this subject.
- In fact, educate family members and friends about the sensitivity around gender pronouns.
- Gently correct people when they are misgendering or using the wrong pronoun for someone.
- Also, don’t worry if you make a mistake. Of course, it is okay if you slip sometimes. Nevertheless, the best thing you can do is apologize to the person in private and correct yourself without embarrassing them.
Also read: Pronouns: What Are They and Why Are They Important?