What is International Pronouns Day?
Today marks International Pronouns Day, which seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace.
Gender pronouns are the set of pronouns that an individual wants others to use in order to reflect that person’s gender identity. Pronouns are not indicative of a person’s sexual orientation, so naturally, not everyone who shares or displays their pronouns will identify as LGBTQ+.
Pronouns serve as an extension of one’s name, and therefore, a person’s identity. Using someone’s correct pronouns is a way to respect them and create an inclusive environment.
Respecting Pronouns and Gender Identities
Karen (she/her) is an audit solicitor at CEL Solicitors. Her son, Cameron is trans and uses he/him pronouns. To shine a light on this topic, Karen asked her son about the importance of respecting each other’s pronouns.
“When I asked Cameron about this subject, his response was: “Using correct pronouns, to me is like suicide prevention.”
Being addressed by the correct pronouns and having them actually be respected has seriously helped my son’s mental health.
Taking that one quote from Cameron can help us to consider whether the common question of ‘what are your preferred pronouns’ should perhaps just be ‘what are your pronouns’. A person who is trans (like my son) or non-binary in reality, regards pronouns as so much more than just a preference, rather a necessity to help them feel comfortable and identify who they actually are.
I suppose that for anyone who is cisgender (someone whose sense of personal identity corresponds with their assigned sex at birth), their pronouns are not something they have to give any real thought to. If a person’s pronouns are unclear, I have learned from my son that it is absolutely the right thing to simply ask, ‘what pronouns do you use?’ which in itself is introducing openness and normality around gender diversity.”
CEL Solicitors’ Commitment to Transgender Equality
As part of our commitment to equality and inclusion, we have incorporated optional pronouns in our email signatures. This helps staff to respectfully refer to one another and to help avoid misgendering each other. Through this initiative, we also hope to demonstrate authentic trans allyship both internally within the firm and externally.
At CEL Solicitors, we are committed to being an inclusive and informed workplace through educating ourselves and embracing diverse narratives, such as Cameron’s. We acknowledge that we are a work in progress, and through listening, learning, and becoming active allies, we hope to positively contribute to the workplace and wider society.
Let’s normalise asking and sharing pronouns. Everybody’s identity deserves to be seen and respected.