Creating Safety in Sharing Pronouns

pronouns Oct 20, 2021

By Kathleen J (She/Her)


Over the past year, I have witnessed an encouraging trend of workshop participants asking questions about the logistics of sharing pronouns. I’m finding most participants are now committed to sharing their pronouns and creating ways for others to share with them. Rather than spending time convincing people of the importance in sharing our own pronouns, and avoiding assumptions about others, I find myself discussing thoughtful, nuanced concerns. It is my hope that in this post I can address some common areas in which we could create safety in asking about pronouns.

While we recommend folks share their pronouns to create safer spaces, we also have to be aware that for some people, sharing is not a safe experience, and won’t be until all environments can be assumed safer up front. Right now, folks still have to proactively protect themselves and wait for demonstrated safer practices. I want to honour those complexities and validate however a...

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Why can't we just all be humans?

labels Sep 28, 2021

By Kathleen J (She/Her)


“Why can’t we all just simply be ‘humans?’ Why so complicated? Aren’t there more than enough labels already?” I’ve heard this question time and time again during workshops, consultation sessions, and even casual conversations. Usually, in my experience, this series of questions comes from well-meaning people who are most likely feeling overwhelmed by the number of options for naming attraction and gender identity. So, if you have ever wondered this question, this post is for you!

First, I want to acknowledge that it would be absolutely lovely if everyone could simply be themselves and we understood human attraction, identity, and expression as consisting of a never-ending spectrum of possibilities- and people could just do what feels right to them! Here’s the thing though- unfortunately, we are just not there yet. In general, we still expect people to fit into particular boxes of set gender expressions,...

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Adding Pronouns to your Introduction

pronouns Sep 23, 2021

By Dale Boyle (He/Him).


You may hear people sharing their pronouns during introductions or see these words in someone’s email signature. It can sound as simple as “My name is Dale, and I use he/him pronouns.” As a reminder, pronouns are words that replace a person’s name. For example, instead of saying “Dale wrote the article,” you could say “he wrote the article.” Some common pronoun options include they/them, she/her, and he/him. There are more options though, so simply use whatever language someone asked us to use.

There are many benefits to sharing pronouns. Doing this work sends a message that this practice is normal, that we are willing to increase inclusion for gender diverse folks, and that you will respect other people’s pronouns. While sharing our pronouns does support people bringing their full selves to the workplace, it also sends a clear message to service users that their gender identity is to be respected....

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