Inclusivity—all day, every day.
If you’ve comfortably gone through life with people referring to you as either he/him or she/her, that’s great! But that hasn’t felt right for everyone.
Let’s dive straight into the importance of pronouns and how we can all do our part to be more inclusive:
What are pronouns?
When we’re not using someone’s name, we tend to refer to them with pronouns. These are most typically he/him and she/her, though as a society we’re FINALLY starting to acknowledge and use they/them as gender-neutral alternatives.
Though the rule of thumb here is ‘don’t assume someone’s pronouns.’ We’ll get more into the whats and whys shortly, but essentially it is a personal preference that only we can make for ourselves—and each individual choice deserves the very same respect.
Why they’re important
All pronouns are important because they let someone feel seen, understood and accepted. That’s especially why they/them pronouns have become so necessary and why they’re also long overdue as a societal norm. Humans, right?!
A lot of our non binary friends haven’t felt quite right being confined to a he/him or she/her construct throughout their lives, which is such a sad thought. But now knowing that they/them is an option has become a lightbulb moment for so many people who are thinking, “Yes! Finally! That feels right. I feel more comfortable when people use these pronouns for me.”
You can probably now grasp why it’s so important to respect and use someone’s preferred pronouns. By doing so, you’re being inclusive. You’re showing each person you speak to that you respect and appreciate them for who they are.
Because imagine if you liked being referred to as she/her and someone called you “it” instead. That’s the exact same feeling our gender neutral or trans friends feel when you overlook their pronouns, and it’s not nice, is it?
Where to use themPopping your pronouns up in the digital realm is extremely useful for new connections. You can place your preferred pronouns in the likes of email signatures and social media profiles, with everyone from Instagram to LinkedIn now having a designated space to show them off to the world. Heck, even Zoom has an allocated pronouns space, and we LOVE IT!
This all makes it easier for people to know how they can refer to you and respect you.
Where to place them
Typically, you’ll place your pronouns next to your name—e.g. Amanda (she/her). This helps people associate your pronouns with your name and hopefully they’ll remember them in your digital and physical interactions.
On that note, if someone hasn’t displayed their pronouns digitally or you just don’t know what they prefer, it’s more than okay to ask. Do everything with love and respect and just do your very best. With the best intentions behind you, you are contributing to a more inclusive future.
Remember, pronouns are important… and it’s our responsibility to uphold that!