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International Pronouns Day

It’s International Pronouns Day! I’m Nathan, your Postgraduate Officer, and my pronouns are they/them. As a nonbinary person, it’s obviously quite important to me for people to know my pronouns, but I’d like to take a little time to help you understand the profound impact pronouns can have, and explain why we should all make a habit of sharing our pronouns and asking other people for theirs.

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It’s International Pronouns Day!

I’m Nathan, your Postgraduate Officer, and my pronouns are they/them.

As a nonbinary person, it’s obviously quite important to me for people to know my pronouns, but I’d like to take a little time to help you understand the profound impact pronouns can have, and explain why we should all make a habit of sharing our pronouns and asking other people for theirs.

While they are quite small words, and we generally don’t even think about when we use them, getting them wrong can have a profound negative impact on people. Quite honestly, it can ruin my day sometimes. Other times it just throws me for a few minutes, and occasionally, I just get really confused about who they were referring to.

When I’m misgendered, there’s a fundamental incongruence between who I am and how that person just described me. People generally don’t mean to misgender me, but that only takes away so much of the sting. And most misgendering happens so casually that most people don’t notice the harm,  but to me it feels like someone just stood up in a meeting and screamed “Nathan isn’t the gender they say they are!”. Suddenly, I’m in the position of having to interject to correct something entirely irrelevant to the topic we’re discussing.

Fortunately, there’s quite a simple solution to misgendering, and that’s for us all to make a habit of sharing our pronouns, asking other people theirs, and politely correcting people when they get them wrong. This is a great way to foster a more trans-inclusive community, and best of all, it takes almost no effort!

The Queering University project has just announced their Pronouns Pledge, and I encourage you all to make the commitment!

By taking the Pronouns Pledge you commit to these six simple actions:

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