As the holidays are coming up, sometimes new people are brought around as a significant other, “roommate” or “friend,” if you know what I’m saying. Or perhaps a family member significantly changed their appearance from the last time you saw them.
Let’s review why it should be normalized to ask someone’s pronouns.
We’ve discussed it before for International Pronouns Day but it never hurts to review. Follow the link to remind yourself how you can ask someone’s pronouns in the best, most polite possible way.
According to MyPronouns.org, “Using someone’s correct personal pronouns is a way to respect them and create an inclusive environment, just as using a person’s name can be a way to respect them. Just as it can be offensive or even harassing to make up a nickname for someone and call them that nickname against their will, it can be offensive or harassing to guess at someone’s pronouns and refer to them using those pronouns if that is not how that person wants to be known.
“Or, worse, actively choosing to ignore the pronouns someone has stated that they go by could imply the oppressive notion that intersex, transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people do not or should not exist.”
On top of affirming one’s gender identity as they indicate to you, using one’s pronouns can be as small as making their day to as large as saving a life.
This holiday season, please consider fostering an inclusive environment for all who you cross paths with. Not just now, but all the time.