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The Importance of Proper Pronouns

Everyone likes being addressed by their name, as it evokes feelings of recognition, belonging and respect. But how do you refer to someone, other than by their name? By using proper pronouns.

Everyone likes being addressed by their name, as it evokes feelings of recognition, belonging and respect. But how do you refer to someone, other than by their name? By using proper pronouns.

How do you know which pronoun to use when addressing or referring to someone?

ASK!!

If you’re not told directly by each individual, never ass-u-me, even if you think you know.

If preferred/proper pronouns are not stated, simply ask:

  • What pronouns do you go by

  • What pronoun should I use to (properly) address you?

  • What pronouns do you prefer?

Most commonly used pronouns and who might use them:



She/Her/Hers – Cisgender (Biological) & Transgender females
He/Him/His – Cisgender and Transgender MalesThey/Them/Their – Non-Binary; Non-ConformingZe/Hir & Ze/Zir – Gender neutral: man, woman, both, neither

It’s always better to ask, rather than use the improper pronoun. Remember, it’s not about your own perceptions, it’s about how others identify, which you can never truly know until you ask.

Lastly, consider sharing your pronouns first, as it encourages others to share their pronouns and increases everyone’s comfort level.

Dianna Slaton

Pronouns She/Her/Hers
Dianna@DiversityCrew.com
Resources: Mypronouns.org; glsen.org