For many people, pronouns (e.g. she/her, he/him, they/them) are a way to affirm gender identity in the same way we use a name. Using someone’s pronouns is the easiest way to support them and validate their gender identity.
How to be respectful and supportive:
- Don’t make assumptions about someone’s gender identity or their pronouns. You can’t tell someone’s gender identity just by their appearance.
- Use the pronoun and name a person asks you to use. This is one of the most critical ways to respect and validate a person’s gender identity.
- If you’re not sure what pronouns someone uses, ask. There are a number of different pronouns a person may use. Asking someone what pronouns they use may feel awkward at first, but it’s one of the simplest and most important ways to show respect for someone’s identity. Learn more about the different pronouns.
- Include your pronouns in your email signature. One easy way to help make respecting and sharing pronouns more commonplace is to include our personal pronouns in our email signature. See my email signature below as an example. Some people add their pronouns in brackets after their name, while others include them on a line after their name and title.
- Include a space for pronouns on nametags at events.
Including pronouns is a small way to support people with diverse gender identities and gender expressions on a daily basis. By adopting this practice, we can contribute to a more inclusive and safe university for all.