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  • Why Pronouns Matter

    Pride 2021: Why Pronouns Matter

    Pronouns are the common way we refer to each other in the third person: he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs. The pronouns we use usually imply gender, though many of us never had to think about them before as we more commonly talk about people who identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. The reason why pronouns matter so much is because they are so intertwined with our identities.

    Our gender identity comes with the pronouns we want to be referred by. A change in gender identity means a change in pronouns. Being considerate of someone’s pronouns lets them know you respect them as a person.

    The Trevor Project reports that transgender and nonbinary youth who report having their pronouns respected by all or most of the people in their lives attempted suicide at half the rate of those who did not have their pronouns respected.

    Accidentally misgendering someone can happen, but before assuming, just ask!
    How do you ask?

    • • “What pronouns do you use?”
    • • “What pronouns would you like for me to use?”
    SHE/HER/HERSShe wants you to use her pronouns
    HE/HIM/HISHe wants you to use his pronouns
    ZE/HIRZe wants you to use hir pronounsListen here
    THEY/THEM/THEIRSThey want you to use their pronouns
    CO/COSCo wants you to use cos pronouns
    NO PRONOUN/NAME (USER THE PERSON’S NAMES INSTEAD OF A PRONOUN)___ (name) wants to use ___ (name) pronouns
    XE/XEM/XYRXe wants you to use xem pronouns

    Table from Why Pronouns Are Important (

    Gender inclusive practices:
      • Use inclusive, non-discriminatory language.

      • Make gender visible when it is relevant for communication.
          ◦ Provide your gender pronouns on your name tag.
          ◦ Include your pronouns in your email signature.

      • Only ask for sex or gender on applications if it’s critical or necessary information.

    It can take time to get someone’s pronouns right. Apologize if you make a mistake and try your best to correct it. Remember, respecting someone means also respecting their pronouns.

    For more information about pronouns, check out the following resources:
      • What Are Pronouns? Why Do They Matter? — Resources on Personal Pronouns
      • What Are Pronouns and Why Do They Matter? | University of Utah Health
      • Why Pronouns Are Important (

    If you would like to speak to someone about better managing your stress and anxiety, or to make an appointment, please call (717) 782-6493 for more information.

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