Pronouns are something we use hundreds of times a day, usually without thinking. In the English language we have different pronouns to differentiate between male (He/Him/His), and female (She/Her/Hers).
When trying to take the focus off gender and avoid differentiating people into arbitrary groups, using pronouns can become a little problematic. Especially when, often, we make assumptions about what pronouns people use by what they look like. Having these two separate pronouns to use means that we automatically assign people into the groups of 'male' and 'female' when we meet them- Which, here at Ungendered, is something we think is unnecessary and often degrading!
So how do we find a way of using pronouns that is respectful to everyone, regardless of which gender a person identifies with, or whether a person identifies with a gender at all?
When you meet a person for the first time is is usual to engage in small-talk:
"What's your name?"
"Where are you from?"
"Did you travel far to get here?"
"What are your preferred pronouns?"
Okay, so you've probably never had someone ask you what your preferred pronouns are. You will find that people don't really get offended by this question. If they're unfamiliar with the LGBT+ world, they will probably be a little confused, but not offended. If they are familiar with the LGBT+ world, they will often be really grateful that you've taken the time to ask. So add it to your list of small talk questions! There's no harm in asking!
What pronouns do people use?
Here is a list of pronouns that people use. The first two are gendered, and the others are Ungendered.