Pronouns

What are pronouns?

Pronouns are words used instead of a name. The most common pronouns are “she/her/hers,” “he/him/his,” and the gender-neutral pronouns “they/them/theirs.” There are also “ze/hir/hirs,” “ze/zim/zirs,” and others. See the resources section below to learn more.

Why pronouns are important

I recognize and honor all genders and gender identities. Language matters and being more intentional around how we all use pronouns is one way we can honor and bring visibility to the diversity that exists within gender and gender identity.

Adding my pronouns (“he/him/his”) to my email signature and biographies is a small act, but one I hope shows respect and encouragement for all genders.

How you can show support

  • Share your pronouns in everyday introductions to show that you are someone who supports proper pronoun usage.
  • Ask someone’s pronouns before making assumptions. Do this consistently, not just for those who appear gender non-conforming.
  • Add your pronouns to your email signature and online profiles.
  • If you make a mistake with someone’s pronouns, don’t make a big fuss over it. Simply acknowledge, apologize, move on, and do better in the future.
  • Never refer to a person as “it” or “he-she”. These are offensive slurs used against trans and gender non-conforming individuals.

Resources

Acknowledgments

This page was inspired by the Nonprofit Technology Conference, and University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Plus (LGBTQ+) Resource Center.