This Byte has been authored by

Adriana Villegas Mayorga

You might have been raised to think that pronouns are simply versions of "him" and "her".

There are actually many more pronouns, and using the correct ones will help people feel validated and accepted!

A group of people in a room using different pronouns with each other.

Key Concepts

Man saying let us begin

Sex: The label (male or female) that you're assigned by a doctor at birth based on the genitals you're born with and the chromosomes you have.

Flaticon Icon Gender: The behavioural, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex. For example, the concept that women are polite and men are agressive.

Flaticon Icon Gender Identity: Personal concept about gender and how one feels inside. It's a deeply held internal sense of self and is typically self-identified.

Flaticon Icon Gender Expression: How one decides to express their gender.

Flaticon Icon Gender Pronouns: Terms people choose to refer to themselves that reflect their gender identity.

Flaticon Icon

Quiz

Idowu is a woman. She wears her hair short, doesn't like dresses, and never wears makeup. What concept does this refer to?

Why Are Gender Pronouns Important?

As discussed in the video above:

  • Assuming gender based on appearance and other factors can be extremely hurtful.

  • Using correct pronouns helps people feel validated and seen.

  • Asking others about their pronouns shows them you care.

Quiz

Lia mistakenly assumed that a person they just met uses the gender pronouns she/her. The new friend corrects Lia as they use the pronouns they/them. What should Lia do? (Select all that apply).

Your Pronouns Are Your Choice

Using a pronoun is one way to connect with the world, which is why it's so personal.

four people seen from the back, all of them embrassing each other Photo by Vonecia Carswell on Unsplash
  • Gendered pronouns specifically reference someone’s gender: he/him or she/her.

  • Non-gendered or nonbinary pronouns are not gender-specific and are most often used by people who identify outside of a gender binary. For example:

They/Them/Theirs/Themself

  • They saw the news.

  • The news was about them.

  • Their dog was lost.

  • That dog is theirs.

  • They found it themself.

Ze/Hir/Hirs/Herself

  • Ze spoke.

  • I spoke about hir .

  • Hir house is new.

  • That house is hirs .

  • Ze bought it hirself

Ze/Zir/Zirs/Zirself

  • Ze spoke.

  • I spoke about zir .

  • Zir house is new.

  • That house is zirs .

  • Ze bought it zirself .

Use Them Daily

Introduce yourself with your pronouns

A name tag that reads,

Use them on your email signature and social media

Gender pronouns

Use gender-inclusive language

Examples of gender inclusive terms: instead of men & women, use everyone.

Ask for others' pronouns

One person thanking another for asking for their preferred pronouns

Take Action

Now that you know the basics, you can start using and asking for pronouns with more confidence.

Woman in the background, confident text on the front

License:

Your feedback matters to us.

This Byte helped me better understand the topic.

Get support to take action on this Byte