Disclaimer: This letter is only intended for individuals who identify as cisgender. Redefy recognizes that putting your pronouns in your bio is a privilege that not everyone has. If you are unsure of your gender identity or if you are in an environment where you would feel unsafe putting your pronouns in your bio, please don’t do so!
Dear Cisgender People,
This year, let’s take a pledge to do something new—to think differently and destigmatize something that should be incredibly simple. Most of you reading my letter have used Zoom and/or some other video-conferencing software, whether it’s for school or work. Not many of us fill out our Zoom bio to begin with, but for those of us that do, how many make the effort to clearly identify our preferred pronouns? Furthermore, how many of us identify our preferred pronouns on other common platforms like Instagram or Facebook?
How about a new venture? In our bios, we should include our pronouns. Cisgender people are those whose sense of gender aligns with their birth sex. Yet there are countless people within school communities and the workforce whose sense of gender does not align with their birth sex, such as gender neutral, gender fluid, or trangender individuals. Gender fluid and gender neutral often opt to use gender expansive pronouns such as “they, them and theirs” instead of the gendered “he, him and his” or “she, her and hers.” Transgender people often have to specify that they would prefer to be called “he” or “she.”
No matter the age or venue, a person’s pronouns should be respected. We see a lot many people, even adults, not addressing students and colleagues by their preferred pronouns. People who identify outside the male/female binary, who might prefer gender neutral pronouns, such as ze/zim, ze/hir, ey/em, xe/xem, and they/them, often feel a need to mention it in their bios. So, as cisgender people, why not normalize putting pronouns in bios?
Equality and justice is truly achieved if those of us who do not face discrimination due to gender identity stand up for those who do. It’s not difficult—it’s a few extra characters in a bio. So, please, specify your pronouns in your Zoom or social media bio—even if it’s something new for you. We are doing it because we do not want people who need to identify their pronouns to feel different or awkward.
With a simple, digital solution, we can bring about a massive change. You can bring about a massive change. So, right now, take out your phone or computer. If you really and truly feel it necessary to make society more open-minded and accepting, then mention your pronouns in your Zoom and social media bios. Go ahead. It’ll only take a moment.