You may have noticed that it’s common practice in LGBTQ+ spaces to introduce yourself both with your name and your pronouns. We do this so that nobody has to make any assumptions about another person’s gender and the pronouns they use. When we’re forthcoming and share our pronouns first, we help to create an environment that welcomes others who might be using pronouns different from the ones they grew up using.

Pronouns are the words we use to refer to someone else instead of using their name, such as he, she, and they.

Several language organizations have affirmed that using “they” in the singular is grammatically appropriate. The American Psychological Association (APA), whose style guide is used widely in many fields, has further guidance for how to use the singular they in writing.

You can be proactive about your pronoun usage by including them when you introduce yourself or having them visible on a name badge. If you’re not meeting people in person as much as you used to, you can always include them in your electronic introduction as well. At EqualityMaine, we put our pronouns in our staff bios on this website, in our email signatures, and in our display names when using Zoom or other video conferencing platforms.


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