I Acknowledge My Pronouns And You Should Too
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Politics and Activism

I Acknowledge My Pronouns And You Should Too

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I Acknowledge My Pronouns And You Should Too

As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, a pronoun is used in place of a noun that has already been mentioned or that is already known, often to avoid repeating the noun. For example, in the sentences, "I saw her at the grocery store," and "When I fell, he helped me up," the pronouns, respectively, are "her" and "he."

As Pride Month comes to an end, I think it's important to identify one of the major aspects of the LGBTQ+ community and how it shapes one's identity. When defining pronouns, it's crucial to remember there are individuals out there that are specific with their pronouns because it shapes who they are as human beings.

I go by she/her/hers pronouns because I was born female and I identify as a female. My entire life I was taught, or at least presented, with two genders and everyone went with the pronouns they were assigned at birth, along with their gender. I never anticipated being faced with something different. At all.

I first had my encounter with a genderqueer person when I was in behavioral health therapy. Every day we'd start and end our therapy sessions with defining our pronouns and this person preferred they/them pronouns because they did not identify with a female or male gender, therefore opting out of using he/him/his and she/her/hers pronouns. They always felt offended when someone messed up their pronouns, and I think the problem lies in how we were all raised. Like me, I think most others aren't familiar with the concept of using they/them pronouns and personally, I was taught that they/them pronouns for a single person was grammatically incorrect and therefore changing this concept would be tough.

I admit acknowledging different pronouns was difficult for me at first. I grew up attending church camp in the summers and associating half my nationality with religion. Orthodox Christians aren't exactly understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and being in a situation where I had to abide by genderqueer pronouns threw me off. It's not that I was refusing to follow their wishes, it's just I wasn't used to the idea of genderqueer pronouns.

Needless to say, I wasn't the only confused about acknowledging pronouns. In fact, some individuals I've run into, both in behavioral health therapy and even on my college campus are straight up ignorant on the topic of pronouns. The responses I've heard boil down to: "I don't know why we're talking about pronouns, so I'm choosing not to participate." Well, this is why I'm writing this article: to explain better why we would want to acknowledge our pronouns.

Maybe the problem lies with not knowing what a pronoun is or for what it stands. I've kindly given a definition to help with that problem because I know with my experience, I was rarely explicitly taught grammar growing up.

It's okay to ask questions. If you're requested to define your pronouns, it's probably not because of you, but for someone who needs to let everyone know they follow different rules. Bashing on the topic merely bashes on their identity.

Let's start acting on accepting others for their pronoun use. Let's start being the example for our friends, family, and future generations. Let's start being comfortable with acknowledging our pronouns.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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