Why cisgender individuals should put their pronouns in their bio

MatthewsPlace.com
Dec 13, 2019 · 3 min read

by James Tinkler


If you use social media, then you probably have a bio or two or three spread out across whatever different platforms you may use. Your bio usually contains general information about yourself and among trans, non-binary and gender nonconforming people it also contains preferred pronouns. This could be one set of pronouns or multiple depending on the individual’s identity and relationship with their gender.

Having your pronouns in your bio is an easy and sure way to make sure you don’t get misgendered by those who don’t know you personally on social media. But more recently cisgender individuals both within and outside of the LGBTQ+ community have started to do this as well which has resulted in some mixed opinions. Some believe that by cisgender people meaning those who are not trans, non-binary, or gender nonconforming should not put their pronouns in their bio as it’s easy to “tell what their gender is.” But there is no way to tell what a person’s gender is or how they might identify. There is no one way to look or be cisgender or to look or be transgender. Policing people’s appearance regarding their identity is offensive and only perpetuates harmful stereotypes and transphobic rhetoric.

It’s helpful for cisgender people from both within the LGBTQ+ community and outside of it to include their pronouns in their bio as it creates a safer environment for trans people. It opens a safe space to talk about pronouns and it also lets those of us who use different pronouns to share ours without being the odd one out. When cisgender people share their pronouns whether it be in an online bio, on a name tag, or shared face to face during introductions it helps to normalize the act of sharing one’s pronouns in all settings not just LGBTQ+ ones. This helps us not only normalize sharing and asking about pronouns, but it also helps to normalize the larger trans community and its umbrella communities. Everyone should be able to feel comfortable with their pronouns and have their pronouns respected by others.

By having their pronouns listed in their bios cisgender individuals are allying themselves with us and helping our community further spread the important conversation that needs to be had about pronouns and trans rights.

What are yours?


About the Author:

James Tinkler is a 21 year old college student living in Central Florida. He is a gay trans masc person, and he uses he/him pronouns. James is a psychology major and a humanities minor. He wants to be a therapist one day and help trans kids access medical care, and he loves Harry Potter, Bad Suns, and LGBTQ activism. He was Vice President of the LGBTQ group on his campus for a year, and will continue to keep activism close to his heart in everything he does.

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MatthewsPlace.com is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit? Email sara@matthewshepard.org

Matthew’s Place

MatthewsPlace.com is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email sara@matthewshepard.org

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