Definitions

Pronouns

What are Pronouns?

 

A pronoun is a word that refers to either the people talking (I or you) or someone or something that is being talked about (like she, it, them, and this). Gender pronouns (he/she/they/ze etc.) specifically refer to people that you are talking about.

Types of Pronouns

 

She/her/hers and he/him/his are a few commonly used pronouns. Some people call these “female/feminine” and “male/masculine” pronouns, but many avoid these labels because not everyone who uses he feels like a “male” or “masculine.”

There are also lots of gender-neutral pronouns in use. Here are a few you might hear:

  • They/them/theirs (Shea ate their food because they were hungry.) This is a pretty common gender-neutral pronoun and it can be used in the singular. In fact, “they” was voted as the Word of the Year in 2015.

  • Ze/hir/hir (Tyler ate hir food because ze was hungry.) Ze is pronounced like “zee” can also be spelled zie or xe, and replaces she/he/they. Hir is pronounced like “here” and replaces her/hers/him/his/they/theirs.

  • Just my name please! (Ash ate Ash’s food because Ash was hungry) Some people prefer not to use pronouns at all, using their name as a pronoun instead.

Why It Is Important To Use Pronouns

 

You can’t always know what someone’s pronouns are by looking at them. Asking and correctly using someone’s pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity.

When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated, or dysphoric ( often all of the above).

It is a privilege to not have to worry about which pronoun someone is going to use for you based on how they perceive your gender. If you have this privilege, yet fail to respect someone else’s gender identity, it is not only disrespectful and hurtful but also oppressive.

What if I mistake someone's pronouns?

 

It’s okay! Everyone slips up from time to time. The best thing to do if you use the wrong pronoun for someone is to say something right away, like “Sorry, I meant (insert pronoun).”

If you realize your mistake after the fact, apologize in private and move on.

A lot of the time it can be tempting to go on and on about how bad you feel that you messed up or how hard it is for you to get it right. Please don’t! It is inappropriate and makes the person who was misgendered feel awkward and responsible for comforting you, which is absolutely not their job.

Taking an active role in your classes, you may hear one of your students using the wrong pronoun for someone. In most cases, it is appropriate to gently correct them without further embarrassing the individual who has been misgendered. This means saying something like “Alex uses the pronoun she,” and then moving on. If other students or faculty are consistently using the wrong pronouns for someone, do not ignore it! It is important to let your students know that you are their ally.

It may be appropriate to approach them and say something like “I noticed that you were getting referred to with the wrong pronoun earlier, and I know that that can be really hurtful. Would you be okay with me taking them aside and reminding them about your pronouns?” Follow up if necessary, but take your cues from the comfort level of your student. Your actions will be greatly appreciated.

The definitions and structure of the information above was created by the LGBTQ+ Resource Center at the University of Wisconson.

Womxn

No, it's not a typo. 

 

What does the word ‘womxn’ mean? Olivia Romero, the co-founder of Pikes Peak Womxn for Liberation, a local organization that works for womxn’s rights, says, “The spelling of womxn is meant to show inclusion of trans, nonbinary, womxn of color, womxn with disabilities and all other marginalized genders. Our organization particularly uses this spelling to separate ourselves from exclusionary feminisms.”

Why we use womxn. 

 

It is not just about replacing an ‘e’ with an ‘x’, it’s about what big manifestation this small transformation has. Language, as we all know, is not just about what we read and write. It’s much more. The ‘x’ makes it clear, once and for all that we are way beyond the identities and roles that have been “assigned” to us since the day we took our first breath. This swapping of letters thus promotes inclusivity and breaks free from the linguistic and patriarchal norms by removing the suffixes “-man” or “-men”. It indicates the denial to be defined by a man.

 

With feminism becoming increasingly intersectional with the change in times, the moderation was done not only to portray women as an independent gender by removing the ‘man’ in ‘woman’ but to also include non-cisgender persons otherwise shamed by a vast majority. From being called names to being marginalized, the queer community has faced a lot just because they identify themselves beyond the gender binaries we’ve been living with.

The information above was written and created by the Saavrti via shethepeople The Womxn's Channel. 

Themtor

No, it's not a typo. 

 

We use themtor in replacement of 'mentor' to show inclusion of trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, and all other marginalized genders. Our organization particularly uses this spelling to separate ourselves from exclusionary 'mentorship' programs. 

Why we use Themtor and Themee. 

 

It is not just about replacing the 'men' with 'them,' it’s about what big manifestation this small transformation has. Language, as we all know, is not just about what we read and write. It’s much more. Using 'them' makes it clear, once and for all that we are way beyond the identities and roles that have been “assigned” to us since the day we took our first breath. This swapping of letters thus promotes inclusivity and breaks free from the linguistic and patriarchal norms by removing the prefix “men-”. It indicates the denial to be defined by a man.

 

As our organization is being increasingly intersectional with the change in times, moderation was done not only to portray womxn as an independent gender by replacing the ‘men’  with 'them' but to also include non-cisgender persons otherwise shamed by a vast majority. From being called names to being marginalized, the queer community has faced a lot just because they identify themselves beyond the gender binaries we’ve been living with.

The language and diction of the information above were written and inspired by Saavrti via shethepeople The Womxn's Channel, with some alterations. 

Latinx

No, it's not a typo. 

 

We use Latinx in the replacement of 'Latino' and 'Latina' to show inclusion of trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, and all other marginalized genders. Our organization particularly uses this spelling to separate ourselves from exclusionary organizations. 

Why we use Themtor and Themee. 

 

It is not just about replacing the 'o/a' with 'x,' it’s about what big manifestation this small transformation has. Language, as we all know, is not just about what we read and write. It’s much more. Using 'Latinx' makes it clear, once and for all that we are way beyond the identities and roles that have been “assigned” to us since the day we took our first breath. This swapping of letters thus promotes inclusivity and breaks free from the linguistic and patriarchal norms by removing the suffix “-o/a”.

As our organization is being increasingly intersectional with the change in times, moderation was done to include non-cisgender persons otherwise shamed by a vast majority. From being called names to being marginalized, the queer community has faced a lot just because they identify themselves beyond the gender binaries we’ve been living with.

The language and diction of the information above were written and inspired by Saavrti via shethepeople The Womxn's Channel, with some alterations. 

Queer

 

As a synonym for “not straight,” “queer” is a great umbrella word for a wide variety of people across a spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities. It is an inclusive term of those within the LGBTQ+ spectrum. 

 

The information above was written and by Alexander Cheves via them

Cis and Cisgendered


Most people who are assigned female at birth identify as girls or womxn, and most people who are assigned male at birth identify as boys or men. These people are cisgender (or cis).

 

Some people have a gender identity that doesn’t match the sex they were given at birth — for example, they were born with a vulva, vagina, and uterus, but they identify as male. These people are transgender (or trans). Transgender is the “T” in LGBTQ+. Some people also are genderqueer and gender non-conforming and also do not identify as cis. 

The information above was written by Planned Parenthood with some alterations

 
 
 
 
 
 

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