International Pronouns Day occurs annually on the third Wednesday of October.
What is the significance of this day?
Referring to people by the pronouns that they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
Knowing how to use gender neutral pronouns will help avoid any misgendering, and will go a long way towards creating warmer, more inclusive spaces (whether it be at work, at home, or in social settings), where everyone feels safe and able to be themselves.
Why the shift?
Recent studies found that:
- Using gender neutral pronouns reduced those psychological biases that have traditionally favored cisgender men, and increased positive attitudes towards women and the 2SLGBTQAI+ community.
- Millennials are more than twice as likely to identify as 2SLGBTQAI+ (at a rate of 20 percent) than previous generations.
- 56 percent of Generation Z respondents know someone who uses gender neutral pronouns—a significant increase from previous generations.
Using the pronouns that a person has chosen for themselves shows respect for that person and helps create a more inclusive environment. At work, it helps create a culture of belonging.
“Using gender neutral language is a positive step towards creating a world where everyone is accepted without exception.” Said Laura Russell Head of Communications and Public Affairs at the Youth Endowment Fund (she was previously the Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research at Stonewall, Europe’s largest lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality organization).
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, gender non-binary and two spirited youth are overrepresented in the homeless community. Covenant House Vancouver strongly believes that all youth deserve unconditional love and absolute respect and 2SLGBTQAI+ youth are no exception.
CHV endorses International Pronouns Day, which seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace.
Where can I learn more?
There are many online resources available to help you with your quest. This website provides information in the form of videos, infographics and images, along with websites and additional links.
Examples of gender neutral/gender-inclusive pronouns
she, her, her, hers, herself
he, him, his, his, himself
zie, zim, zir, zis, zieself
sie, sie, hir, hirs, hirself
ey, em, eir, eirs, eirself
ve, ver, vis, vers, verself
tey, ter, tem, ters, terself
e, em, eir, eirs, emself