One of the more frequent and more painful things that often happens to trans and non-binary people is “misgendering.” Misgendering is when someone assumes someone else’s gender, and makes a mistake. Misgendering usually is signaled by the wrong choice of pronoun (he/she/they/another pronoun) and/or by using a gendered label for someone (lady, gentleman, mom, uncle, boy, girl). An easy way to start changing our culture so that there is more room for people who don’t align with binary gender norms is by making it a habit to introduce yourself with your pronouns and ask other people theirs: “Hi, my name is Kim and I use they/their/theirs pronouns. What is your name and pronouns?”
Some people say it is difficult to remember people’s pronouns, particularly when they use a less common pronoun or seem to “better fit” a pronoun different from what they use. It can be hard to break a lifelong habit of associating pronouns with particular appearances. As with any habit, working to catch yourself and consciously make the correction takes practice. Don’t allow yourself to think pronouns don’t matter: just as it would not be polite to call your friend Joe “Bill” because he looks like your friend Bill, it is not polite to assign an incorrect pronoun to someone just because it’s easier for you to remember.
One handy tip to help remember peoples’ pronouns is to put their pronouns in your phone contact list. You can simply add their pronouns after their first name, so every time you dial or text them, you’ll see their pronoun(s).
Did you know that there’s an awareness day for pronouns, too? October 17, 2018 was the first International Pronouns Day? They have a great website with a wide variety of resources and videos. Check out some of the videos and resources here: https://pronounsday.org/resources/
Below is one of our favorites from their site:
You can also printout and reference pronoun conjugation charts to help you with integrating pronouns other than he or she into your daily language use: https://forge-forward.org/wp-content/docs/gender-neutral-pronouns1.pdf
#14DaysOfTransAction #TDOR #TransAwareness #TDOR2019