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Gender Pronouns

What are pronouns?

Pronouns are an important part of the English language. These words refer to someone or something that is being talked about without using their name. For example, in the sentence, "she let me in her car," She and Her are the two pronouns used, and in the sentence, "they held open the door for me," They is the pronoun being used.

What are some types of pronouns?

Some of the more common pronouns are she/her/herself, he/him/himself, and they/them/themselves.  Other pronouns include ze/hir/hirself, xe/xem/xemself, and per/pers/perself, 

Why are you telling me your pronouns?

American culture has always been to assume pronouns of any person, because we've learned at a very young age that women look a certain way and use she/hers as well as men look a certain way and use he/him. The problem with this is we're looking at someone's gender expression and guessing what their gender identity is, which is hurtful and insensitive. There are members of our community who utilize pronouns that might not be assumed by appearance. 

How do I know what pronouns ____ uses?

The safest way to avoid a hurtful experience for someone is to simply ask, "what pronouns do you use?" or start your introductions with your pronouns while asking those to introduce themselves with their pronouns.

What if I make a mistake?

It's really important to remember that we're all human, and we all make mistakes. It's in our nature! You'd want to respond to accidentally using the wrong pronouns the same way you'd respond to any other mistake: acknowledge it, apologize, and move on. 

 How can I practice using different pronouns?

There are many different websites available where you can choose which pronouns you'd like to use and practice with them. PracticeWithPronouns.com is a great resource as well as Minus18.org