October 17th is International Pronouns Day and is the perfect time to make sure you’re sharing your pronouns on your email footer, your social pages and anywhere else they can be seen!

Why is it important to share our pronouns and be respectful of others’ pronouns?   Here’s an excellent take from pronouns.org:

“Often, people make assumptions about the gender of another person based on the person’s appearance or name. These assumptions aren’t always correct, and the act of making an assumption (even if correct) sends a potentially harmful message -- that people have to look a certain way to demonstrate the gender that they are or are not.

Using someone’s correct personal pronouns is a way to respect them and create an inclusive environment, just as using a person’s name can be a way to respect them. Just as it can be offensive or even harassing to make up a nickname for someone and call them that nickname against their will, it can be offensive or harassing to guess at someone’s pronouns and refer to them using those pronouns if that is not how that person wants to be known. Or, worse, actively choosing to ignore the pronouns someone has stated that they go by could imply the oppressive notion that intersex, transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people do not or should not exist.

When we refer to "personal" pronouns, we don't mean that these pronouns are necessarily private information (generally they are not), we mean that they are pronouns referring to a unique and individual person.”

So we are all encouraged to share our pronouns on this day and every day, to encourage everyone to make no assumptions about a person’s gender identity - and if in any doubt about someone’s pronouns, to go ahead and ask!

Read more about how to understand the use of pronouns here.