If you are looking for ways to be a good ally during this year’s Pride Month, one simple and inexpensive way, is to add your preferred pronouns to your email signature and social media platforms.
This seemingly simple act can have a big impact.
Why? The last time you thought about pronouns might have been high school. Pronouns identify the subject of a sentence. In the English language, pronouns are traditionally gendered – he/him, she/her, etc. We use pronouns all the time, every day.
As cisgender allies, adding preferred pronouns to an email signature or social media platform help to normalize the act and make it safer for transgender people if they chose to do so. It also helps to avoid misgendering, the act of getting someone’s gender wrong, which can be embarrassing or even hurtful.
Adding your preferred pronouns to an email signature and/or social media profile could even save someone’s life. A recent study by the University of Texas at Austin found that calling a transgender teenager by their preferred name and pronouns helped to reduce the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts. It makes perfect sense; we all want to be treated as humans. Names and pronouns are part of this.
How? The process is very easy. All you need is a simple line, something like this:
My preferred pronouns are she/her/hers
One best practice suggested by experts is to include a link explaining why you list your preferred pronouns. I suggest linking to a source like the LGBT Life Center which has a lot of great information.
If you are a leader within your workplace, adding your preferred pronouns to your email signature is an easy way to lead by example and signal to all your employees that they matter. Your action may start a trend of others doing the same. If you are a part of a very large corporation, you could also reach out to your marketing department and ask them to include it in the company’s style guide for all employees.
Various social media platforms, like Instagram and LinkedIn, have made it very easy to add your preferred pronouns to your profiles. If your chosen social media platform doesn’t have the option yet, you can always add it as part of your bio.
While adding your preferred pronouns won’t change the world, it will signal to your coworkers, friends, family and contacts that you want everyone to feel welcome and be able to be their whole self.
We hope you have a very happy PRIDE month!
Ready to edit your email signature?
Ready to update your social media profiles?