Pronouns: What You Call Someone Matters
May 4, 2015
“Hi, my name is Connor. My favorite food is spaghetti and I go by he/him/his pronouns.”
Simply adding this last phrase about preferred pronouns is the start of a new introductory saying. The majority of people are not accustomed to asking for preferred pronouns, or even stating their own. Members of the LGBTQ+ community wish to normalize this act of courtesy in order to prevent people from feeling uncomfortable.
Amalia Priest (12) says, “asking for everyone’s pronouns is very important and crucial, as to not single anyone out. If you ask one individual for their pronouns just because you are unsure of their identity, it brings up a weird [vibe into the conversation], instead you should treat everyone similarly when asking for pronouns.”
Because asking for pronouns is not yet normalized, using their name in place of a pronoun is ideal until the appropriate time to ask for their pronouns comes up.
It allows a person to make the choice of deciding what they feel comfortable being identified as. Many believe that you are either a man or a woman, but there are many possibilities; male, female, all gender, gender neutral, gender queer, nonbinary, as well as gender-fluid.
It is highly disrespectful to refer to transgender or gender nonconforming students by using the incorrect pronouns, and it can often make them feel uncomfortable because they are being referred to as something they have no identification with.
Imagine meeting someone for the first time, and before you have the chance to introduce yourself they call you by the wrong name. This would confuse you or even offend you because they did not take into consideration what you want to be called.
This concept applies to pronouns as they should not be simply based off of appearance since= it can cause people to feel uneasy. Priest said, “It’s dysphoric when people don’t see you as you see yourself.”
“People should act toward you based on your gender, not your sex,” says Sid Piravi regarding gender pronouns. Sex is what biological parts someone is born with, gender is what people choose to identify whether it matches or not with the sex they were born with.
Gender does not mean sex, according to an article in the CSM. Skylar Crownover was accepted into an all girl school without identifying with girl as her gender sophomore in college, and often gets asked how this was possible. Crownover said, “I just tell them the application asks you to mark your sex and I did. It didn’t ask me for my gender.”
“Gender is often assigned at birth, a system we’re starting to take down,” states Kenley Farace, (12). While some people may be confused about the gender neutral term “they” for a single person Kenley explains it as “When you’re driving, and someone cuts in front of you, you dont say “oh, he/she cut me off, you say “they” cut me off.
People use singular form of they them all the time without even realizing it.” They/them/theirs is accepted as a gender neutral pronoun. Therefore a lot of non-binary people use it. Within the Oxford Dictionary website, it recently updated to include they, them, themselves as singular pronouns.
“When people understand that both genders are equal, they will also understand that there are more than two genders. When gender equality is reached, I believe that people will understand that your gender can be different from your sex” says Sid Piravi.