I have a new resolution.

When I introduce myself, I’m going to say my preferred pronouns.

“I’m Chelsee. I use she/her pronouns.” (prefer?)

Maybe I can find a really awesome way to say it. I’ll think on it and let you know.

Perhaps at this point you’re asking yourself why I have made this resolution. Well, here’s the thing- I may use the pronouns which typically correspond to my assigned gender (with which I identify), but not everybody does. My experience of the general public (of which I am definitely a part) is that we either assume people identify with their assigned gender, or that their preferred pronouns/gender identity corresponds to their appearance in some way– which is a limiting and marginalizing assumption.

Since so far people have always addressed me with she/her pronouns, my saying that those are my preferred pronouns will not be subverting anyone’s assumptions. However, by saying my preferred pronouns (naming it) I’m acknowledging that you cannot make assumptions and you should know how people want to be addressed.

I’m a little daunted by this task and finding ways to make it a habit, something I do naturally and without thought, but I feel like it’s a really good idea- really important. The part of me that worries about how other people perceive me is like “What if everyone just thinks I’m weird!?” But then the other (awesome) part of me says “Um, you are weird, and that’s okay (in fact, it’s great). This however is not weird- abnormal, maybe. But necessary. Also, you could start an awesome trend with the people around you and then EVERYONE WOULD THINK YOU WERE COOL! Plus, even if people don’t get it, it will get them thinking, and that’s good. SO DO IT.”*

Also, I hope that by doing this it will help remind me that I cannot make assumptions about people’s identities, and that if I have questions I should ask them so that I know and can be respectful.

*my inner voice lately is crazy weird. I kind of like it though. I think it’s channeling my awesome modern dance teacher. 

I think I’m going to tag this “Things I learned from Hampshire college”

Advertisements