Whether we notice it or not, we all use pronouns in every-day conversations. ‘He’, ‘her’, ‘she’, ‘they’, are part of the English language. What we may not realize is how much power pronouns can hold.
A lot of gender assumptions are made based on a person’s appearance or name and these assumptions, while some may be accurate, can be harmful. Using the correct pronouns makes for a safer and more inclusive community.
People who are transgender or non-binary face many challenges. Using correct pronouns is being respectful of who they are.
It’s Pride month and the conversations around pronouns has been making its way into headlines a lot lately. So, it’s time to dissect and discuss it.
Pronouns vary for each person. They also change. They are not constant.
I caught up with Sheridan Student Nik Kuarsingh who has first-hand experience with changing pronouns.
“I found myself questioning gender and what that meant to me,” Kuarsingh says. “While I am okay with and don’t mind masculine pronouns, I also find myself feeling at home in a gender non-conforming realm and the pronouns I am happy and comfortable with are He/They.”
Many celebrities have become more comfortable with who they are and have publicly come out with pronouns that they identify with better.
Demi Lovato is a perfect example. In an Instagram post, they have come out as non-binary and their pronouns are now they/them. They have received a lot of love and support from the public.
“If you really want to boil it down, it’s an easy way to say; ‘Hey I see you, I recognize you and I have respect for you and who you are,’” Kuarsingh says.
Today, many social media platforms have given users the option to input your correct pronouns on your page, and many others put their pronouns when signing off in emails. It has become a way to normalize their usage so that it creates a better and safer community for all.
We still have to be aware that some people don’t have the ability to openly put pronouns on their social media. So, while it’s a great step that these platforms are taking, the easiest and most efficient way to know how someone refers to themselves is to just ask.
At the end of the day, pronouns are a part of every language, and we will continue to use them. So, be respectful, be inclusive, and help people feel more comfortable.