Celebrating International Pronoun Day
International Pronoun Day, observed on the third Wednesday of October, is an important day on the calendar dedicated to promoting awareness and respect for people’s pronouns. It’s a day to celebrate diversity and encourage inclusive communication. While using correct pronouns might seem like a small step, it plays a significant role in creating a more accepting and understanding world for all individuals. Let’s explore the significance of International Pronoun Day and how we can actively support and practice respectful pronoun usage.
The Significance of Pronouns
Pronouns are a fundamental part of language and communication, serving as linguistic tools to refer to people without constantly repeating their names. While English traditionally recognized binary gender pronouns like ‘he’ and ‘she,’ there’s a growing awareness that not everyone fits neatly into these categories. International Pronoun Day reminds us that pronouns extend beyond ‘he’ and ‘she,’ and there are various gender-neutral and gender-inclusive pronouns available to accommodate different gender identities.
Why Pronoun Awareness Matters
- Respect and Dignity: Using someone’s correct pronouns is a simple yet powerful way to show respect and dignity. When we address people according to their pronouns, we acknowledge their identity and support their right to be seen and heard as they are.
- Inclusivity: Recognizing a wide range of pronouns and respecting them fosters inclusivity and diversity. It lets individuals of all gender identities know that they are valued, accepted, and welcomed.
- Reducing Discrimination: Misgendering, or using incorrect pronouns, can be hurtful and emotionally distressing. By actively promoting the use of correct pronouns, we contribute to a world that’s more accepting and less discriminatory.
Understanding Different Pronouns
Pronouns have evolved to encompass a wide range of gender identities and expressions. It’s important to remember that language and identity are continuously evolving, so this list is constantly evolving. Here are some pronouns, what they mean, and who may identify with them:
- He/Him/His: Traditional masculine pronouns used by individuals who identify as men or boys.
- She/Her/Hers: Traditional feminine pronouns used by individuals who identify as women or girls.
- They/Them/Theirs: Gender-neutral pronouns used by non-binary, genderqueer, and genderfluid individuals. They/them pronouns are also used by many people who don’t wish to be defined by traditional gender categories.
These gender-neutral pronouns are also used by some non-binary and genderqueer individuals:
It’s essential to note that pronoun usage can be highly individual, and individuals may use a wide variety of pronouns that reflect their unique gender identity and expression. It is respectful to use the pronouns that people specify for themselves, even if they are less common or unfamiliar to you. Always be open to learning and respecting others’ identities and expressions. Additionally, the language around pronouns and gender identity continues to evolve, so it’s important to stay informed and respectful of the preferences of those you interact with.
Taking Action on International Pronoun Day
Start by educating yourself. Visit prounouns.org, a website full of resources with a goal of educating about all things pronouns from understanding what they are to how to use them. Take the time to learn about different pronouns, including ‘they/them,’ ‘ze/zir,’ ‘he/him,’ ‘she/her,’ and others. Familiarize yourself with gender identity terms, so you can understand and respect people’s identities better. If you’re unsure about someone’s pronouns, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask politely.
Promote awareness by sharing information about International Pronoun Day on social media, engage in discussions, and raise awareness among your family, friends, and colleagues. The more people know about this day, the more it can become an annual tradition. Advocate for inclusive practices in your workplace and community and encourage the use of gender-inclusive language. Check out this guide on “Talking About Pronouns in the Workplace” provided by the Human Rights Campaign.
International Pronoun Day is very important to us at Equality Careers. Our platform is dedicated to promoting not just professional equality, but also personal respect. We recognize that using the correct pronouns is a fundamental aspect of affirming gender identities. Our platform was built to allow people to display their pronouns within their profiles and on their applications. This not only allows people to feel seen and heard, but also creates awareness and transparency between job seekers and employers. Through our commitment to inclusive workplaces and the integration of pronoun awareness, we ensure that all job seekers and employers can embrace their true selves without fear or judgment when using our inclusive job board.