“Hello, everyone” or “How are y’all doing today?” in a group setting instead of “Hey, guys!” or “Hey ladies” or “How are you guys doing?”
“They are a first-year student” when referring to a student instead of “they are a freshman”.
If you are unaware of someone’s pronouns, you can use their name in place of any pronoun: “Jordan wasn’t feeling well, so Jordan went to student health for a checkup.”
This list is not inclusive of all possible preferred pronouns. This is a list of common pronouns and their usage in grammatical contexts.
“I called him”
“That is his”
“He loves himself”
“She laughed “
“I called her”
“That is hers”
“She loves herself”
“They laughed “
“I called them”
“That is theirs”
“They love themselves”
Ze (or Zie)
“Ze laughed ” (“zee”)
“I called hir” (“heer”)
“That is hirs”
“Ze loves hirself”
Note: the top line is meant to indicate two separate – but similarly spelled – sets of pronouns. They are ae/aer/aers and fae/faer/faers.
The best thing to do if you use the wrong pronoun for someone is to say something right away, such as “I’m sorry, I meant they.” If you realize your mistake after the situation, apologize in private and move on. You may want to go on about how bad you feel that you messed up or how hard it is for you to get it right, but you should refrain from doing so. It is inappropriate, creates a spectacle, and makes the person who was misgendered feel awkward and responsible for comforting you.
Below is an additional resource developed by this group to give guidance on pronouns. LGBTQI Life has copies of this poster available if you would like to pick one up.
Please note that if a student, staff, or community member tells you that they do not want to disclose their pronouns or do not wish their pronouns to be public knowledge, you can continually refer to that person by their name only.
Asking “what pronouns do you use?” can provide an opportunity for someone to offer their gender pronouns for you to use. Other options include: “how would you like me to refer to you?” or “how would you like to be addressed?”
Another option is to begin by offering the pronouns you use. Try: “I use he, him, his pronouns. Do you mind if I ask what pronouns you’d like me to use when referring to you?