When talking about a person, it is important to know the pronouns that they go by. If everyone displayed their pronouns on social media, it could dismantle the stigma around this topic. (Photo Courtesy: Matthew’s Place)
An individual’s preferred gender pronouns are a set of pronouns that an individual identifies with. Pronouns could be she/her, he/him, they/them, or other variations of pronouns.
When addressing a person, you should always address them with the pronouns they choose to identify with — not the pronouns you assume they identify with based on how they look, sound, dress, etc.
People in the transgender community have to make their pronouns known, otherwise, they might be misgendered.
Social media is a way to display pronouns. If a person puts their pronouns in their social media bio, there is a better chance of being properly gendered.
However, there is a stigma around this topic. If someone that is transgender puts their pronouns in their bio, it could result in unwanted attention such as alienation or harassment by those that don’t support the transgender community.
This is where cisgender people can help. (If you identify with the gender that matches the body you were born in, you are cisgender.) If cisgender people put their pronouns in their bio, it would help normalize the action; alienation of the transgender community would stop, and people who are transgender could feel more comfortable displaying their pronouns.
In addition, by displaying your pronouns on social media, you present yourself as a safe space and someone who supports the transgender community. This can make transgender people feel more safe and comfortable on the internet.
I asked a transgender student at Leesville her opinion on this topic. She thinks that everyone including their pronouns in their bio “creates a sense of belonging and comfort.” She also thinks that “cis people should be as inclusive as possible and [including pronouns] in bios is one of the simplest ways to show support.”
So, will you put a couple of words in your bio to make others more comfortable and supported? The choice is up to you, but it is something everyone should consider.