The importance of pronouns
Co-written with Not A Phase
In honour of Transgender Day of Remembrance, we teamed up with Trans Rights charity Not a Phase to discuss the importance of pronouns and how to use them respectfully.
What is Transgender Day of Remembrance?
Transgender Day of Remembrance, also known as the International Transgender Day of Remembrance always falls on 20th November and is a way of memorialising those who have been murdered due to their gender identity. It is a way to highlight the stigmas and threat of transphobic violence that the community face every day.
The importance of pronouns for the Trans community
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, pronouns are defined as:
A word that is used instead of a noun: Pronouns are often used to refer to a noun that has already been mentioned.
“She”, “it”, and “who” are all examples of pronouns. Someone’s pronouns are the way they choose to be referred to according to their gender identity.
Her pronouns are “she/her”, but she is also happy with “they/them”. It might be helpful to share your pronouns when introducing yourself.
Why are pronouns so important?
Why are they important? Showing pronouns has recently become a progressive movement in support of Trans rights, to prevent the misgendering of Trans people and has become an inclusive space for non-binary and gender non-conforming people. It is intended to create a safe space without assumptions of gender.
More inclusive language
Inclusive language also helps (especially if you’re unsure and it’s not appropriate to ask)
- His/hers – Theirs
- Ladies/gentlemen- Guests
- Men/women- Everyone
- Male/female- Person
- Guys- Folks
Easy ways to be inclusive
If you want to make the effort to be inclusive to the Trans or Non Binary communities, why not display your own pronouns in your social media bios or email signature? Once this becomes the norm, people who use they/them will not stand out as much. It will become common not to assume gender or misgender somebody by accident.