Why Pronouns Matter

by Rylie Eisenhauer

You’ve likely seen people putting pronouns in their social media profiles. But you might be left wondering why pronouns are so important.

This is part of a movement on social media pages supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community. It has been embraced by people who support transgendered people who are trying to share their preferred pronouns.

Cisgender people, or people who identify with the gender they were assigned with at birth, are also adding pronouns to social media and even personal correspondence in an effort to normalize the act of referring to people with their preferred pronouns.

“It’ll stop from people asking pronouns as it becomes more widely accepted,” Autumn Rain, who identifies as non-binary, said.

Criticism of the movement includes people who worry by putting their pronouns in their profiles it could imply they are transgendered when that may not be the case. For some transgender students, using incorrect pronouns can be hurtful as they try to live a normal life.

“You’re making us out ourselves pretty much, and you’re perpetuating the idea that you can assume someone’s gender identity” Thomas Burkhart, who himself is transgender, said.

Both Rain and Burkhart said if more people added their preferred pronouns, even if they are not transgendered, it would help them feel more accepted. They said the transgender and non-binary community would feel less like they are being “outted” by having to request the correct pronoun usage instead of everyone just putting their pronouns out in public in the first place.

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