Have you been seeing a lot more people putting their pronoun in their emails, social media...etc?
Maybe you've see n a (they/them), (she/her) or (he/him) beside people's emails signatures?
It doesn't matter if you're straight or part of LGBTQ community, cisgender or transgender, you have a pronoun!
Not sure what someone's pronoun is? You can refer to them using the objective form of "they/them" until you find out what their pronoun is!
For example: Not sure what their gender is? Why not ask them.
Why does this matter if I'm cisgender?
Cisgender - a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex.
When cisgendered people actively share their pronouns, they not only normalize the behaviour, they also help create a safe space for folks who are not cisgender. Taking the initiative to share your pronoun first helps reduce the isolation that many non cisgendered people feel when they are the only ones sharing their pronouns.
Most importantly, when cisgendered people take the initiative to normalize pronoun sharing, they break down the binary constructs of gender that many of us have in our minds and that gender can be assumed by someone's appearance or other physical characteristics.
Here are 5 GREAT ways that you can normalize sharing gender pronouns:
1) Introduce yourself with your pronouns
With video calls being the norm now, helping to normalize pronouns is as simple as saying "Hi, My name is Brian, and I use they/them pronouns". Regardless of whether you are cisgender or transgender, introducing yourself with your pronouns will help prevent any awkward moments later down the road. Also, this practice helps to normalize the use of pronouns!
2) Share your pronouns on social media
It's as simple as putting (he/him/she/her/they/them) beside your name on social media with the pronouns you use!
3) Share your pronouns in your email signature
Add your pronouns beside your name on emails. Now that many of us have moved to digital due to Covid, normalizing your pronouns in work emails is becoming more important than ever. With the loss of physical communal workplaces, creating safe spaces for trans and non-binary folks is as simple as putting your pronouns in your email signature. By normalizing pronouns in your digital workplace, you are continuing to open up conversations around gender acceptance.
4) Don't assume. Just ask!
You know what they say about people who assume...
When you're not sure, it's always okay to ask! You can never tell a person's gender by their appearance. Gender expression is different from gender identity.
Gender is also a fluid identity for some, so it can always change.
When in doubt, just ask!
5) Practice and Correct!
Are you finding yourself using the wrong pronoun when you're talking about someone?
This is a great opportunity to reach out to a DIFFERENT person and practice with them.
Practice makes perfect, the more you do it, the more normal it will become!
Is someone you know constantly using the incorrect pronoun?
Reach out to them and offer to practice with them!
Here's an extra bonus tip since you got this far!
It is not up to the other person to make you feel better about making a mistake!
(read that again)
If you use the incorrect pronoun while talking to/about someone, quickly apologize, correct yourself, correct yourself, and keep the conversation going. Don't make a big deal about a mistake, just make sure you work on actively correcting yourself.