Adding Pronouns to your IntroductionSep 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. This signal of inclusion can be critical to remove barriers and enable people to disclose important information.
If you are new to sharing your pronouns, it may seem difficult to imagine following this new best practice. Thankfully, there are many ways we can share our pronouns that are easier to do for those who are new to this concept. In addition to verbally sharing our pronouns, we can also share them on staff web pages, business cards, name tags, social media bios, Zoom name, and email signatures. Sharing pronouns does not have to be hard work, but it is important that more of us do it.
Often, trans, non-binary, and some queer community members are regularly faced with the question of “how do you identify/what are your pronouns?” It is important to remember that everyone has a gender identity, we can share our own pronouns, and this is something that we all can and should do. Sharing pronouns is a simple yet effective way to send a message that you are supportive, you are creating a place of respect, and that you welcome people to be their authentic self.
Dale Boyle (he/him) is the Safer Spaces program manager at Gilbert Centre. Email him at [email protected].
Additional Resource: Consider reviewing the video "This Is Why Pronouns Matter for Trans People" from Everyday Feminism at https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/08/why-pronouns-matter/.
This post first appeared on Simcoe.com here: https://www.simcoe.com/opinion-story/10391692-sharing-your-pronouns-builds-inclusion/.
You can read other articles written by Dale Boyle in Simcoe.com here: https://www.simcoe.com/simcoecounty-author/dale-boyle%20(he/him)/954c7f0a-e07c-40d1-bbb5-99297467e6c7/.