banner image

Navigating Pronouns: A Guide to Understanding Pronouns and Self-Love

This blog will explore what pronouns are and why they are essential to the LGBTQ+ identity. If you're in the LGBTQ community, choosing the correct pronouns can be an empowering journey of self-expression and self-love. It can be a vulnerable journey to navigate initially, and it can lead to improved self-confidence as you practice using the pronouns you identify with most. So, let's discuss the ins and outs of pronouns in a safe and supportive space through this blog written by a therapist in California.

Understanding Gender and Sexuality:

  1. Gender and sexuality are two different things that make us who we are. Gender is all about how we identify and express ourselves, while sexuality is who we're into romantically or sexually.
  2. Remember the whole male and female binary thing? Yeah, it's not that simple. Gender is on a spectrum, and there are a bunch of different identities.

Using "They" Pronouns:

  1. "They" can be used to refer to a singular person whose gender is non-binary, genderqueer, or simply unknown or unspecified.
  2. For example, instead of saying, "She is going to the store," you could say, "They are going to the store." When someone is on the phone, you often say, "Who are they talking to?"
  3. Using "they" as a singular pronoun acknowledges and respects an individual's gender identity without making assumptions.

Education on Pronouns in the LGBTQ Community:

  1. Pronouns play a crucial role in affirming and validating someone's gender identity.
  2. Common gender-neutral pronouns include "they/them/theirs," "ze/hir/hirs," and "xe/xem/xyrs."
  3. It's essential to ask and use the pronouns someone prefers, even if they differ from what you're accustomed to.

How to Ask People Their Pronouns:

  1. Approach the conversation with sensitivity and respect. For example, you can say, "Hi, I want to make sure I use the right pronouns for you. What are your pronouns?"
  2. Normalize sharing pronouns by introducing yourself with yours first. For example, "Hi, I'm [Name], and my pronouns are she/her."
  3. Avoid assumptions based on appearance or assumptions about someone's gender identity.

Responding to Misgendering:

  1. If someone uses the wrong pronoun for you, don't be afraid to speak up and correct them. Doing so can help them learn to use the correct pronouns for you and show that you respect yourself. Pronouns are a part of boundary work, and telling someone what your pronouns are is a step in setting LGBTQ+ boundaries with loved ones. 
  2. Example responses include:
    • "Actually, I use [pronouns]. Could you please use those for me?"
    • "I appreciate you respecting my pronouns. It's [pronouns], not [misgendered pronouns]."
    • "It's important to me that you use my correct pronouns. I'm [pronouns]."

Your journey with pronouns is a beautiful expression of self-compassion and self-love. Embrace your identity confidently and know that your pronouns are valid and worthy of recognition. Let's create a world where everyone's pronouns are honored and respected, one conversation at a time. If you want more one-on-one help with setting boundaries around your pronouns or discovering what pronouns you want to use book an intro call with me today to get started!

Other related blogs:

5 Tips for Coming Out to Family During Thanksgiving

Benefits of Gender-Affirming Care

How to Create Bad-Ass Boundaries in Unhealthy LGBTQ+ Family Dynamics