Adapted from GLSEN’s Pronoun Guide
Thank you so much for your dedication to making Family Equality a safe, inclusive, and celebratory space for LGBTQ+ families! Many of you are likely familiar with some of these practices, but here’s a refresher!
Please review and share with anyone from your team who will be interacting with Family Equality families.
Pronouns are words we use to describe a person or group of people in place of their names. Examples of the most commonly used pronouns are: She/Her/Hers, He/Him/His, and They/Them/Theirs.
Pronouns and gender identity are not one and the same. Gender identity is a person’s sense of being a boy, girl, woman, man, both, neither, masculine, feminine, nonbinary, and/or anywhere along the gender spectrum. Someone’s gender may or may not correspond to the sex they were assigned at birth.
A few common pronouns you might encounter include:
- He/him/his – It’s Alex’s birthday today, but he is celebrating this weekend.
- She/her/hers – That’s my friend Corey, I hope she’s joining us!
- They/them/theirs – Jo is on a walk with their dog.
Although these are fairly common, there are many other pronouns that people use, and some people choose not to use pronouns at all.
Some people use multiple pronouns. For example:
- They/he – His birthday is coming up, so I’m going to make them a cake!
- She/they – They told me their favorite color is pink. I think she even has a pink car.
Pronouns aren’t the only way we make assumptions about gender! Think about the language you use to refer to individuals or groups of people. Are there ways to make those gender-neutral?
- Instead of “ladies and gentlemen” or “boys and girls,” try “everyone,” “friends and honored guests,” etc.
- Instead of “you guys,” try “y’all” or “folks.”
- Many of us have been taught that it is polite and respectful to use honorifics like Mr./Mrs., or ma’am and sir. Please don’t refer to Family Week families in this way unless you know them and know that they are comfortable being referred to as such.
Family Equality values all individuals and families. We sincerely thank you for your continued awareness, understanding, and support of our agreements and values.