Happy International #PronounsDay

Today, October 17, 2018, we celebrate the inaugural International Pronouns Day.

International Pronouns Day seeks to make asking, sharing, and respecting personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity, but many transgender and gender nonconforming people are regularly called by the wrong pronouns, which can lead them to feel invisible and marginalized.” 

NASPA is proud to be among the 300 groups endorsing the new holiday, including 125 campuses and organizations. Other key endorsements include the Association of American Colleges and Universities, ACPA: College Student Educators International, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, the GLBT Round Table of the American Library Association, Out for Health: Planned Parenthood’s LGBT Health & Wellness Program, APA Division 44: Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, and CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers. 

What are pronouns and why do they matter?

Our workplaces and campuses should be places of empowerment and care for others. Using the right pronouns to refer to a person is affirming and respectful. 

 - Shige Sakurai (they), International Pronouns Day founder and the creator of the educational MyPronouns.org website

A pronoun is a word that is used in place of a noun or a noun phrase. Gendered pronouns are frequently used in conversation. Often, assumptions about someone else’s gender are incorrectly made based off of personal appearance and names. Using an individual’s correct pronouns is a way to respect their identity and create an inclusive environment.

“Just as it can be offensive or even harassing to make up a nickname for someone and call them that nickname against their will, it can be offensive or harassing to guess at someone’s pronouns and refer to them using those pronouns if that is not how that person wants to be known. Or, worse, actively choosing to ignore the pronouns someone has stated that they go by could imply the oppressive notion that intersex, transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people do not or should not exist.”

Explore mypronouns.org for more resources including the “What/Why” of pronouns, how to use pronouns, common mistakes and how to address them, and more.   

Pronouns and NASPA

Just as in any other professional environment, pronouns are regularly used at NASPA events and programs. To ensure that our members and participants are not misgendered, a wide variety of personal pronouns are available in any instance of membership or program registration. All NASPA events ensure our participants access to all gender restrooms and provide name badges with pronouns.