International Pronouns Day promotes safe spaces

Amber Brockman, Assistant News Editor

International Pronouns Day, a day dedicated to making respecting, sharing and educating individuals about personal pronouns commonplace, took place on Oct. 16.

“The goal is to normalize the sharing of pronouns and learning why it is important to do so,” UW Oshkosh senior Deckard Quinones said. “Being referred to correctly is something people can take for granted and being referred to incorrectly is something that can happen over and over to a lot of transgender and gender-nonconforming people. Everyone deserves to be referred to correctly.”

Bringing attention to the importance of pronouns helps to encourage sharing and respecting of the pronouns people use.

“Referring to someone by their correct pronouns is an easy way to show that you respect them and their identity,” Quinones said. “This is especially important for trans individuals because misgendering can be a source of daily stress in their lives.”

Repeated misgendering can be emotionally taxing for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

“It is the repetition that makes it something many struggle with,” Quinones said. “Misgendering can also cause dangerous situations for trans people in some cases. By normalizing asking for pronouns and referring to people correctly, it creates a safe space for trans and gender-nonconforming people and can positively impact their overall mental health and lives.”

Eliza Farrow, program assistant for the LGBTQ+ Resource Center and Women’s Center, said the goal of International Pronouns Day is to educate individuals about lesser known pronouns, how to use them correctly and why it is important to do so.

“Education about pronouns is important because a lot of people aren’t familiar with pronouns other than he/him/his and she/her/hers,” Farrow said. “On top of knowledge, practice is important. The more inclusive we can be, the more welcome and accepted everyone in our campus community will feel and the better students can succeed academically.”

Farrow said this day is personally significant to them.
“International Pronouns Day is personally important to me because I am nonbinary and use gender-neutral pronouns,” Farrow said. “It is also important because I have a lot of friends and students that use gender-neutral pronouns and are consistently misgendered. They deserve as much respect and love as everyone else.”

Farrow said if you accidentally use the wrong pronoun for someone, apologize, say the correct pronoun and try to do better in the future.

“Don’t excessively apologize or explain that you are not transphobic and actually have other trans friends,” Farrow said. “When you do that it focuses the attention back to you and not on the person you misgendered. You will probably use the wrong pronoun for someone at some time. I certainly have even though I use gender-neutral pronouns; how you respond after is very important.”

Farrow said to visit the LGBTQ+ Resource Center if you want to practice using pronouns you might not be familiar using, to get a card with different pronouns that are used on campus and how to use them or for information on classroom and syllabus practices in regards to pronoun use.