Remember to never make assumptions about the gender of another person based on appearance or name.
International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace.
Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.
Every year on the third Wednesday of October is International Pronouns Day. This year, the annual volunteer-run event falls on Oct. 20, a global initiative established in 2018 that seeks to make respecting, sharing and educating about personal pronouns a common occurrence.
International Pronouns Day is all about celebrating people’s multiple, intersecting identities, especially within LGBTQIA+ communities and groups. According to the campaign’s official website, it’s also a day “to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace.”
Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is a basic act of human dignity. Many transgender and gender-nonconforming people are repeatedly misgendered and referred to with incorrect pronouns, which can be an uncomfortable, anxiety-inducing and humiliating experience.
Shige Sakurai (they/them), an adjunct instructor at the School of Education at American University, founded the awareness campaign and created the website “MyPronouns.org” to provide free resources to help people learn more about pronouns. They also serve on the executive education faculty of the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center.
The most commonly used pronouns are He and Him or She and Her, referring to a person’s gender. But, for some people who identify as gay, gender non-conforming, nonbinary, or transgender, those pronouns may not fit.
Some common nonbinary pronouns include They, Them, Ze, Zie, Co, En, Ey, Xie, Yo, Ve, and more. Some people, however, do not use pronouns at all. Others may also prefer to be identified by their name or nickname alone.
Transgender and nonbinary youth are less likely to attempt suicide when their pronouns are respected. That’s according to a 2021 study by The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization in West Hollywood. The study also shows LGBTQ youth who had access to gender affirming spaces, such as school, home, or the web, reported lower rates of attempting suicide than those who did not.
LGBT organizations and groups are encouraging people everywhere to use appropriate pronouns and inclusive language during International Pronouns Day and year-round.
The U.S. Department of State celebrated Wednesday the holiday known as “International Pronouns Day” by sharing why a lot of people share their pronouns on various email profiles and social media platforms.
State Department recognizes ‘ze/zir/zirs’ in celebration of International Pronouns Day
The holiday, which is observed on Oct. 20, gives people “the opportunity to share what they want to be referred to,” as it is becoming increasingly common for people to express how they want to be referred to in the U.S
The Department of State has announced that U.S. citizens are permitted to select the gender of their choosing on passport forms despite what their other documents state and that the options of nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming will be included in the future.
Remember, you should never make assumptions about the gender of another person based on appearance or name. Instead, LGBT advocates say it’s best to politely ask for and use pronouns to help create a safe space.