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LGBT movement of young people wearing sweaters with their gender pronouns

Gender pronouns - why it matters

Gender pronouns are a sign of respect, as well as inclusivity. Here we cover what gender pronouns are and why they matter.

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What are gender pronouns?

Gender pronouns are words used to identify a person’s gender identity. He, she, they - these are three common examples. They are someone’s means of expressing their gender, and a way of asking others to acknowledge and respect it.

Here are some examples of gender pronouns:

  • He/Him/His: For a person who identifies as male.
  • She/Her/Hers: For a person who identifies as female.
  • They/Them/Their: For a person who identifies as gender-neutral; these pronouns can also refer to those who don’t identify as either male or female.
  • Xe/Xir or Ze/Zir: Neopronouns used by some to refer to themselves without the context of gender

There are others, but the three above are some of the most common. Some individuals even use mixed pronouns, such as he/they.

It's worth noting that you don't actually have to refer to someone via a pronoun. You can just call them by their name instead.

A beginner’s guide to using pronouns

Why using gender pronouns matters

Have you ever thought what it must be like not to be able to be yourself all day, every day in work? At the very least it must be exhausting.

Even if you know that you’re an accepting and inclusive person, it’s not always obvious to other people. Previous experiences and worst case scenarios can all stop people from assuming the best, but there are some simple ways we can demonstrate our acceptance and let people know they’re in a safe environment around you.

One of the most effective ways we can do this is simply through adding our own preferred pronouns to our email signature. It’s something you can do in 30 seconds and can make the world of difference for someone.

Whether you’re trans, non-binary, or cisgender (identify as the your assigned sex at birth), having your preferred pronouns in your email signature (or social media profile) tells everybody you come across that you won’t assume their gender. It demonstrates they’re in a safe an accepting environment and normalises the conversation around gender identity. It shows that you care about individual preferences and is a very simple solution to accidental misgendering.

The more people who are willing to make a simple adjustment to their email signature, the more people who will know they’re in a safe place!

One last thing…don’t forget there’s always one great, simple way to start the conversation or to find out somebody’s preferred pronouns if you’re unsure…just ask!

Examples of gender pronouns in email signatures

Here are a few email signature template samples of where you could place your pronouns.

Example 1: It could appear next to your name

Gender pronoun email signature example

Example 2: It could be right after your job title

Gender pronoun email signature example

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