Today is International Pronoun Day, which takes place every year on the third Wednesday of October.
International Pronoun Day recognizes the importance of addressing someone by their correct pronouns. Activists, LGBTQA+ educators, and resource centers share why pronouns are essential and further the conversation around making pronoun-sharing commonplace.
Why do pronouns matter?
Referring to people by their correct pronouns indicates your respect for someone’s identity. When we assume someone’s gender and/or pronouns without asking first, it can send a harmful message. Correct pronoun usage can go a long way to show allyship with your colleagues and indicate your awareness of what inclusion looks like in practice.
How do I know if I’m using the correct pronouns?
People may not offer their pronouns automatically, so it’s easy to assume incorrectly. We recommend the following tips to learn pronouns without having to presume:
Here are some other ways to be inclusive when using and respecting people’s pronouns:
What do I do if I mess up?
First, recognize that this is a common issue, as this is new for many people and it takes time and practice to rewire our brains. Here are some ways to address the situation when you accidentally misgender someone:
Some further Resources:
International Pronoun Day is a great way to start a conversation about the importance of pronouns, how your workplace can be inclusive of pronoun usage, and the areas in which your organization can grow within its learning and implementation journey.