Pronouns – What are they?

Pronouns – What are they?

Mairi stands outside Crew2000 smiling broadly. In the window is an LGBTQIA banner and a sign that says 'Take care with sex' and 'Happy Pride' in colourful lettering.

Earlier on this month we had a Skillshare, all about pronouns, identity and acceptance led by get2gether member, Peer Mentor and activist: Mairi! (a.k.a Elliot, she/ him). Read on for his blogpost all about pronouns!

A person’s identity is their own. Recently, ‘pronouns’ have come into the foreground of society. Pronouns are how we refer to one another. Pronouns are not scary, and are not there to ‘trip you up’. They are there to make individuals feel comfortable and secure in their gender identity.

Ask, don’t assume! Never assume a persons gender. The way a person presents doesn’t define their gender

Here are some examples:

She/her means a person refers to themselves as a woman.

He/him means a person refers to themselves as a man.

They/them means a person refers to themselves as non-binary. Non-binary means that they don’t identify as a man or a woman.

Poster of people and their pronouns.

In my personal opinion, the best way to find out a person’s pronouns, is to just ask them directly. If you are ever unsure about a person’s pronouns then just ask! We are all human beings and it is okay to make mistakes.

Next time you meet someone new, why not ask for their name and preferred pronouns?

For example:

Mairi: Hi there! What is your name and your pronouns?

Ella: Hi! My name is Ella, and my pronouns are ‘she/they’. Thanks for asking!

Here are some examples of pronouns in sentences:

Mairi is a fantastic peer mentor. She makes sure that everyone feels safe. He also is brilliant at checking in with people and asking questions.

Ella has been working with get2gether for almost a year. They love their job. And she especially like interacting with members.

Finally, it is important to not assume someone’s gender based on their appearance. Somebody might dress in a masculine way and have short hair, for example, but it doesn’t mean that they identify as a man.

The key to understanding pronouns is sensitivity and compassion.

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