gender pronouns | LGBTQ+ Resource Center (2023)

First, let's start with the most frequently asked questions about Personal Gender Pronouns (PGPs).

frequent questions

What happens if I make a mistake?

Everything's fine! Everyone makes a mistake from time to time. The best thing to do when you use the wrong pronoun for someone is to say something like "sorry, I meant (insert pronoun)" right away.

If you realize your mistake later, apologize in private and move on.

It can often be tempting to keep talking about how bad you feel about getting it wrong or how hard it is for you to get it right. Please no! It's inappropriate and makes the person who was the wrong gender feel uncomfortable and responsible for comforting you, which isn't their job at all.

If you take an active role in your classroom, you may hear one of your students use the wrong pronoun for someone. In most cases, it is appropriate to gently correct them without further embarrassing the person with the wrong gender. That means saying something like "Alex uses the pronoun she" and moving on. If other students or teachers keep using the wrong pronouns for someone, don't ignore it! It is important that your student knows that you are her ally.

It may be appropriate to go up to them and say something like, "I realized you used the wrong pronoun earlier and I know this can be very painful. Is it okay if I take you aside and remind you of your pronouns?" Please continue if necessary, but be guided by your student's comfort level, your actions will be greatly appreciated.

How do I ask someone what pronouns they use?

Try asking "What pronouns do you use?" or "Can you remind me what pronouns you use?" It may seem strange at first, but it's not as strange as a painful assumption. Also, asking when you can use these pronouns helps protect people from exposure; this might sound like "Are there situations where you don't want me to use these pronouns?"

As an introductory exercise, if you are asking and want to quickly explain what gender pronouns are, try: “Tell us your name, where you come from, and what pronouns you have. These are the pronouns you use in relation to yourself. For example, I'm Xena, I'm from the Amazon island and I like to be called her, her and hers pronouns of her. So you could say, 'she went to her car' when you're talking about me."

It's important to remember that by consistently asking people for their pronouns, you can help others share their pronouns more normally and confidently, which they may not have been able to do before.

However, there are several reasons why someone might not want to share their pronouns in a group setting. If someone doesn't share their pronouns, feel free to use the name as a substitute or ask in a more private setting.

Why is it important to respect people's pronouns?

You can't always tell what a person's pronouns are just by looking at them. Asking someone for her pronouns and using them correctly is one of the easiest ways to show respect for that person's gender identity.

Addressing someone with the wrong pronoun can make them feel disrespected, unappreciated, rejected, alienated, or dysphoric (usually all of the above). All of the major professional associations for psychology and psychiatry in the United States recognize that inclusive language use by LGBTQ+ youth and adults dramatically reduces experiences of depression, social anxiety, suicidal ideation, and other negative mental health factors.

It's a privilege not to have to worry about what pronoun someone will use for you based on how they perceive your gender. If you have that privilege but you don't respect another person's gender identity, that's not only disrespectful and offensive, it's also oppressive.

What are some commonly used pronouns?

She/her/hers and he/him/his are some commonly used pronouns. Some people call these pronouns "feminine" and "masculine," but many people avoid these labels because not everyone who uses "he/he/his" feels "masculine" and not everyone who uses them feels "feminine." . . .

Many other pronouns are also used, some of which are more gender-neutral. Here are a few you might listen to:

  • They/they/them (“Shea ate her food because they were hungry”). This is a very common gender neutral pronoun and can be used in the singular. The singular "they" is not a new concept for English speakers; the singular is often used when we don't know the person we are talking about ("Who called you? What did you want?").
  • Ze/hir/hir ("Tyler ate hir because ze was hungry"). Ze is pronounced "zee" and can also be written ze or xe, instead of she/he/she. Hir is pronounced "here" and replaces her/hers/him/his/they/theirs.
  • Per/per/pers ("Kyla ate professional food because everyone was hungry"). Think of this as a shortened version of "person."
  • It/it/its ("Alex ate his food because he was hungry"). It used to be thought that these pronouns could only be offensive when used, but as long as you don't decode someone using it/he/their use of it, these are valid pronouns anyone can use.
  • Just my name please! (Ash ate Ash's food because Ash was hungry) Some people prefer not to use pronouns, preferring to use their name instead of a pronoun.

Also, some people use more than one set of pronouns. This can be referred to as "they/they" or "they/they/their and they/their". When someone uses multiple sets of pronouns, it could mean that he is okay with using one, or that he accepts both but prefers the first. If you have any questions, please ask the person respectfully! A person of both sexes can use several groups of pronouns.

managedwrong gender(using the wrong pronouns, ignoring the pronouns used by a person, or using the wrong gender language for someone) is offensive and disrespectful to everyone, especially transgender and non-gender people.

What is a pronoun?

A pronoun is a word that refers to the person speaking ("I" or "you") or someone or something being spoken of (such as "she," "it," "they," and "this"). Gender pronouns (he/she/she/ze, etc.) refer specifically to the person you are referring to.

Pronouns are part of a person's gender expression, and people can have multiple sets of pronouns for themselves (for example, he/he/his and she/her). Pronouns are not "preferred" but are necessary for respectful communication. Transgender or non-binary communities don't just use pronouns, it's something we all use and have had since we were little.

Pronouns: A Guide

gender pronouns | LGBTQ+ Resource Center (1)

gender pronouns | LGBTQ+ Resource Center (2)Note: The top line is intended to indicate two separate but similarly spelled groups of pronouns. They are ae/aer/aers and fae/faer/faers.

Pronoun Practice Application (minus 18)

Gender Neutral/Gender Inclusive Pronouns

A gender-neutral or gender-inclusive pronoun is a pronoun that does not associate a gender with the person being spoken of.

Some languages, such as B. English, do not have gender neutral or third gender pronouns available and this has been criticized in many cases by writers, speakers, etc. use “he/his” when referring to a generic person in the third person. Furthermore, the “he and she” dichotomy in English leaves no room for opposing gender identities, which is a source of frustration for transgender and gender queer communities.

People constrained by languages ​​that do not contain gender-neutral pronouns have tried to create them in the interest of greater equality.

I seezimlearnisshe herself
you guysyou guysellazornuntil

History of gender inclusive pronouns

native english pronouns

"Or, a": gender-neutral pronouns in English. According to Grammar and Gender by Dennis Baron:

In 1789, William H. Marshall documented the existence of an English dialectal epicene pronoun, singular o: "'Or will' expresses bothit isWille,you guyswill, oresMarshall dates back to the Middle English Epicene, written by the 14th century English writer John of Trevisa.he she is youit is includedUE.
The dialectal epicene pronoun a is a shortened form of the Old and Middle English masculine and feminine ismiHola. In the 12th and 13th centuries, masculine and feminine pronouns evolved to the point where, according to the OED, "they were almost or entirely indistinguishable in pronunciation". The modern feminine pronounyou guys, which first appeared in the mid-12th century, appears to have been designed, at least in part, to reduce the increasing ambiguity of the pronoun system...

He goes on to describe how relics of these gender-neutral terms survive in some modern British dialects of English, and sometimes a pronoun of one gender can apply to a person or animal of the opposite sex.

language authorities


In 1770, Robert Baker suggested using "one, some" instead of "one, hers", since there was no equivalent for "one, she". Others shared this sentiment in 1868, 1884, 1979, and even today. Others during this time disagreed, finding it too pedantic.

"he or she" vs. singular "you"

In 1795, linguistic authorities Lindley Murray, Joseph Priestly, and Hugh Blair, among others, wrestled with irregularities in the use of pronouns, such as B. Gender and number incompatibility. Without neologism, this is only possible in the 3rd person singular with compound terms like "he or she". Grammarians of 1879, 1922, 1931, 1957, and the 1970s accepted "they" as a singular term that could be used in place of "he" or "he or she", although they sometimes restricted it to informal constructions. Others argued against it for various reasons in 1795, 1825, 1863, 1898, 1926, and 1982. And despite what grammarians may argue, people have been using the singular "they" for about 600 years, even though (as mentioned above)) can only be applied in certain cases. Unless new gender-neutral pronouns are introduced, I'm sure the singular "they" will be a sticking point for centuries to come. For more on the use of the singular "his" through the ages, seeLots of informationcompiled by Henry Churchyard on the subject.

gender pronouns | LGBTQ+ Resource Center (3)This work is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 International License.

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