As a straight person, it costs me nothing.
There is no risk for me to share my pronouns, there has never been confusion over which pronouns to use for me, and there’s a real possibility no one has ever thought about mine.
For a person who is transgender or nonbinary, sharing pronouns can be a bit riskier.
If someone is transitioning at work and only a few people know about it, sharing pronouns may out them before they’re ready. For a nonbinary person, sharing they/them pronouns often only sparks a lengthier conversation rather than simply inform people.
This is why we ask straight people to lead the change by sharing pronouns. It normalizes the process, has little risk, and actually makes for a safer environment for everyone.
Small action, big impact
At Office Essentials, this Pride Month we are asking our coworkers to voluntarily — and permanently — add their pronouns to their email signatures and LinkedIn profiles. The more allies that do this, the more customers, vendors, and potential employees will see this and know that Office Essentials is an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone.
Becoming an LGBTQ ally
For people with a low risk of sharing their pronouns, they can normalize the process and make it easier for those who find it trickier to share theirs. This is the true meaning of being an ally.
How to add your pronouns on Linkedin
For now you have to add “They-Them, She-Her, or He-Him (or whatever other pronouns you use!) after your last name. Hopefully at some point soon LinkedIn and others will add a dedicated pronoun field.
Normalizing the usage of pronouns is a concrete, impactful way to show your advocacy for LGBTQIA+ individuals. It takes some practice to transform the unfamiliar into the familiar. At first, it might be awkward to share pronouns when you meet someone, but after a while, you probably won’t even hear it.
So, however you identify, be proud of your pronouns and encourage others to as well! It helps more people than you think.