International Pronouns Day: What to know about using pronouns


(NEW YORK) — She, he, they, ze, her, him, them, zir.

They’re little words that are a part of our everyday language. But to many, the way these words — known as pronouns — are used can make a big difference in acknowledging identity.

“Using the correct pronouns not only shows that we recognize others for who they are, but it’s also a sign of respect and courtesy,” said Carmarion D. Anderson-Harvey, Alabama state director for the Human Rights Campaign. “When someone is misgendered, meaning, when another person uses incorrect pronouns or descriptors to refer to them, we’ve found that it can be upsetting, invalidating, hurtful and even a cause of harm.”

International Pronouns Day is celebrated on the third Wednesday of October. It seeks to make “respecting, sharing and educating about personal pronouns commonplace,” and encourage inclusive language for those who may identify as transgender, gender nonconforming, non-binary, gender neutral and more.

ABC News’ Good Morning America spoke with Anderson-Harvey about using pronouns, where she touches on these topics and more:

1. Never assume that you know a person’s pronouns and, when appropriate, how to ask someone about their pronouns.

2. Why using someone’s pronouns is important.

3. Simple ways that you can integrate inclusive language, such as with your email signature and when you introduce yourself to others.

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