Preferred Gender Pronouns


What is a pronoun?

  • Pronouns are words you use to refer to someone, other than the person’s name. In English, and many other languages, pronouns can also indicate the person’s gender.

  • Everyone uses pronouns!

How do I use a pronoun?

  • Commonly used gender pronouns include she/her/hers and he/him/his. For example: If Alex's pronouns are she, her, and hers, you could say "Alex ate her lunch because she was hungry." If Alex uses he/him/his pronouns, you would say “Alex ate his lunch because he was hungry.”

  • There are also lots of gender-neutral pronouns in use. One example is they/them/theirs. (“Alex ate their lunch because they were hungry.”) “They” is a common gender-neutral pronoun, and it can in fact be used in the singular.

  • Some people prefer not to use pronouns at all, and may ask that you use only first or last name.

  • Here is a list of some commonly used pronouns:

* Additional alternate spellings for “ze” are “zie”, “sie”, “xie”, and “xe.”

*Additional alternate spellings for “ze” are “zie”, “sie”, “xie”, and “xe.”

Why is it important to have pronouns in your email signature?

  • You cannot assume you know a person’s pronouns just by looking at them, hearing their voice, or seeing their name.

  • Listing your pronouns lets everyone know what you like to be called, similar to listing your name and title.

  • Correctly using someone's pronoun is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity.

  • The best thing to do if you accidentally use the wrong pronoun for someone is to correct yourself, apologize briefly, and move on. For example, say, “Yesterday I told her- sorry, I mean him- that the meeting was cancelled.”

What if I use the wrong pronoun?