achievements

Why Do Pronouns Matter?

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Pronouns are the words you use to refer to people when you are not using their name. She, I, him, they, we, us, and more; are all pronouns you use every day to communicate.  

Pronouns are a part of our everyday conversations and are a constant reminder of how other people perceive each other’s gender identities. Most people use pronouns without thinking about them, but for some, it can be an issue if they don’t conform to society’s ideas of how they should look in relation to their pronoun.  

When a person is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel uncomfortable and disrespected. If you never experienced this yourself, imagine how it would feel to constantly be referred to by a name you do not feel comfortable with and have no relationship to. This is the everyday reality for many trans+ and non-binary people and can contribute to stress, anxiety, and many other negative experiences.   

It is a privilege to not have to worry about pronouns, and how other people perceive your gender. If you have this privilege yet repeatedly fail to respect other people’s use of pronouns, it’s an oppressive act and a failure to recognise other people as equals.  

Never assume someone’s pronoun, and if you do not know, just ask them! Always be respectful of the answer they give you. Offer your own pronouns as well, regardless of your identity, as it’s a good way to make other people more aware of the language they use.  

It can be a bit difficult to get used to new pronouns, especially if you have never thought about it before. If you make a mistake, apologise to the person and learn from it. Respecting someone’s pronoun is equally important as respecting someone’s body and identity. Your pronoun is a vital part of your identity, regardless of how you identify, and disrespecting someone’s preferred pronoun and not using it, means disrespecting them as individuals. 

 

Gender Pronouns 

Please note that these are not the only pronouns. There are an infinite number of pronouns as new ones emerge in our language.  

Subjective 

Objective 

Possessive 

Reflexive  

Example 

She 

Her 

Hers 

Herself 

She is speaking. 

I listened to her. 

The bag is hers. 

He 

Him 

His  

Himself 

He is speaking. 

I listened to him. 

The bag is his. 

They 

Them 

Theirs 

Themselves 

They are speaking. 

I listened to them. 

The bag is theirs. 

Ze 

Hir/Zir 

Hirs/Zirs 

Hirself/Zirself 

Ze is speaking. 
I listened to hir. 
The bag is zirs 

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