How to make your pronouns more visible
Y'all know what pronouns are, right? Well if you don't, they're substitutes for nouns. Names are nouns, so we often substitute pronouns for names. Some common pronouns? She, he, they. Some people use neo-pronouns. Some people use multiple pronouns and prefer you mix them up often. Some people use any and all pronouns. Some people only use one pronoun. Some people use no pronouns and ask to be referred to only by their name. And everyone deserves to have their pronouns (or lack thereof) respected.
How can we do our part to respect pronouns? It's easy, ask people you meet what their pronouns are and use those pronouns when referring to that person! If you want to learn more about using different pronouns, you can read MyPronouns.Org's article about it.
The next step is to help normalize conversations about pronouns. This allows for discussions of pronouns to be de-stigmatized and become more commonplace. If conversations about pronouns are more commonplace, it can help pronouns that differ from the expected norm to be more accepted. To help normalize conversations about pronouns it's important to increase the visibility of pronouns and talk about them. The biggest way to do that? Put your pronouns right where everyone can see!
One good place is your profile photo! On Facebook, you can add frames to your profile photo. So we decided to help out by creating pronoun frames on Facebook that anyone can use. There are two styles with a variety of pronoun choices from She/They/He to neo-pronouns like Xe/Xem/Xyr. All you have to do is click on your profile photo and select 'update your profile picture.' Under add frame, type 'Queer in Canton' and you'll find all our creations! If you want to use these on other platforms, you can download your photo when the frame is uploaded and make it your profile photo on any other platform.
Don't worry, we have plenty of ideas on where to display your pronouns. Put your pronouns in your social media bios to let your followers know what your pronouns are. Email signatures are a good place to let your co-workers know. And your dating profiles will help let your dating prospects know your pronouns.
For cisgender people -- whose sex assigned at birth aligns with their gender -- pronouns might not seem like a big deal. But pronouns of anyone, even cisgender people, can't be assumed because pronouns aren't determined by gender. Pronouns are simply a substitution for someone's name but using the correct pronouns to refer to someone can go a long way and make them feel respected.
Here are some more reading materials about pronouns and neo-pronouns:
Beyond They/Them: What Are Neopronouns? -- Elizabeth Yuko -- June 29, 2021
How To Use Neopronouns, According To An Expert & People Who Use Them -- Jay Polish -- August 21, 2020