Pronouns: The importance of understanding their correct usage

Preferred pronouns are important pieces to accepting everyone. People a part of the LGBTQ+ community can be negatively affected by the results of misgendering. When topics like this get cleared up it can make a better community.

Pronouns like she/her/hers or he/him/his are the basic pronouns we are born with. The LGBTQ+ community has made the pronouns they/them/their and ze/zir/zirs more prominent, when we address a person with their preferred pronouns it can make the person feel accepted.

“I get more surprised when people do, I appreciate it when people ask me what they are and use them,” sophomore Zamira Salgado-Rivera said.

Not using the correct pronouns even when known can cause major emotional and physical damage to an individual. It could result to suicide or self harm. Or it can genuinely be awkward and burdening for the person. That is why it is so important to share your pronouns and listen to people when they tell you what their pronouns are.

“Many, many trans youth commit suicide because they are constantly misgendered by the people around them,” another student at East said.

Our society is based off of basic gender stereotypes, and we always assume before we know the truth. Doing so has created worldwide problems that need to be resolved.

“If we want to break down barriers and stereotypes, we need to start with the very basics,” East counselor Lori Hemmett said. “Just because I look like a girl, act like a girl, smell like a girl, and dress like a girl, maybe does not mean I want to be called she.”

Even social media influencers are shedding light on this topic. Making it aware to other people worldwide can spread awareness to the LGBTQ+ community.

“Anytime there is a platform on whether it is a celebrity status or anything in the news, they must share their pronouns and ask,” Hemmett said. “They have a platform to do so or if it is appropriate to do so to make sure they are overtly asking.”

Throughout the years, this topic has become more prominent in the society. Some East teachers are making surveys that ask what your pronouns are to make our school community more accepting. Normalizing asking in classes can create a comfortable atmosphere.

“I think the best ways to respect them is to just use the correct name and pronouns and call people out when they hear someone misgendering or deadnaming a transgender kid,” an East student said.

Having a great community is a full group effort, we must reach out to people and ask to prevent awkward or disrespectful words. We must accept the LGBTQ+ community and accept everyone. “It is just a matter of normalizing that people have different identities and sexualities,” Salgado-Rivera said.

To get resources for yourself or be the difference for a loved one by offering support and understanding:
Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-827-7571
Helpline: 1-800-398-GAYS
Gay and Lesbian National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends): 1-800-DONT-CUT