You may have noticed that we’ve been more openly sharing our pronouns lately, and we wanted to share a little more about why.
What Are Pronouns? Why Do You Use Them?
Pronouns, sometimes called personal pronouns, are how people refer to you if they aren’t using your name. Common pronouns are he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs, and combinations of those, but there are many pronouns.
We share our pronouns because assuming them based on someone’s name, appearance, or presentation can be harmful — not everyone’s identities can be viewed, and assuming otherwise can feel invalidating.
How Can I Ask Someone About Their Pronouns?
Asking for and using the pronouns someone uses for themselves is a respectful, inclusive way to ensure they feel more comfortable and are not harmed in our spaces. An easy way to invite someone to share their pronouns is to share your own first. We’ll usually do this when introducing ourselves. “Hi, I’m Jon, I use he/him/his pronouns. What about you?
There are plenty of reasons someone may use different pronouns in different spaces, with different people, or at different times. Follow their lead, and use the pronouns they’ve given you in that space, even if they may be different from last time you spoke.
What if I Use the Wrong Pronouns?
If you’re speaking and notice you use the wrong pronouns, correct yourself and move on. Don’t make a big deal of it — it can put the person in an uncomfortable position of having to comfort you for your mistake, even though they were harmed by it.
If you notice someone using the wrong pronouns for someone, correct them by pointing it out like by saying, “Jon uses he/him pronouns.” Kindly correct them and let them continue. The best way to move forward from a mistake is to correct it in the future and show that it was an accident.