What are pronouns?
“Pronouns are words that people use to refer to others without using their names” (Zambon, 2021), they are important because they are a way in which we portray our identities.
This means that using the incorrect pronouns can lead to someone feeling excluded and alienated, particularly if on purpose. It is important to remember never to assume someone pronouns as it conveys the unintended message that someone must look a certain way to use certain pronouns.
How to use pronouns
By stating your pronouns, we can create a more inclusive and respectful environment for everyone. Here are some examples of how to use pronouns to make a more inclusive environment:
- When you introduce yourself make sure to include what pronouns you use.
- Include your pronouns at the end of your email signature and other digital resources.
- Ask a person what pronouns they use when you meet them.
It is also important to remember that we all make mistakes, no matter how hard we try. “If a person mistakenly uses the wrong pronouns, they should apologize, correct the pronouns, and carry on with their dialog” (Zambon, 2021). However, if someone is purposely choosing to ignore someone’s pronouns, be sure to correct them and call them out as it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that everyone is included.
Overall, pronouns are an important form of gender expression, and by being proactive and showing your support to the LGBTQ+ community by stating the pronouns you use, you are creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone.
Here are some useful articles if you want to find out more about the importance of pronouns: