Personal Pronouns – Why we use them
Whilst the sharing of personal pronouns on email signatures and social media is becoming more commonplace we are often asked what is this all about and why we (and others) do it…..
When a person shares their pronouns, they are telling you how they would like you to refer to them. The majority of people use the pronoun sets of ‘he/him’ or ‘she/her’ but there is an increasing number of people who use gender-neutral pronouns such as ‘they/them’ or ‘ze/hir’ (pronounced zee/here). Some people use gender-neutral/gender-inclusive pronouns because they identify as non-binary, others because they don’t want to go by pronouns with a gender association.
And why do we do it? Well, it’s easy to make an assumption about the gender of another person based on the person’s appearance or their name but these assumptions aren’t always correct and getting it wrong can cause hurt and upset. Sharing your personal pronouns avoids any assumptions. Furthermore, displaying/sharing your personal pronouns is a mark of respect and validation, it demonstrates allyship, provides a space for others to share theirs and by normalising the practice of sharing we are helping to build a more supportive and inclusive environment for everyone.
To learn more about personal pronouns visit the my pronouns website.
To learn more about the work of Positive About Inclusion contact us.