Why are Pronouns Important?

Creative Reaction Lab
2 min readNov 30, 2023

by Amos Jaimes, 2023–2024 Seeds of Power Fellow

As the end of 2023 draws to a close there are many attacks against the LGBTQIA community that have occurred throughout the year. Specifically our Transgender family.

In the past year, nine states have passed legislation about how schools are expected to handle the use of pronouns.

What are pronouns?

In the simplest form, pronouns are words we use to talk about a person without having to use their name. Common pronouns that you may have heard are he/him, she/her, they/them, or other pronouns.

The most common pronouns are gendered, which are she/her and he/him. There are neutral pronouns that are used, such as they/them. These singular gender neutral pronouns are grammatically correct. They can be used to refer to someone when you are unsure of their pronouns.

Have pronouns always been used?

Pronouns are not a new thing that has just come about. In the 1800s many feminists were searching for gender-neutral pronouns. Gender neutral pronouns can be traced before this time to 1375, in the poem William and the Werewolf where gender neutral pronouns are used to refer to someone.

Why are pronouns important?

Pronouns are important so that we respect the gender of others and how they identify. Using the right pronouns can lead to community members feeling affirmed in their gender identities.

There are ways to create opportunities for others to share their pronouns, some these methods are:

  • Sharing your pronouns when introducing yourself
  • In your email signature
  • If you are unsure of someone’s pronouns, it is okay to ask

It is important to make space for people to re-introduce themselves. This can be:

Making it part of company culture to share pronouns during:

  • Meetings
  • Zoom Title
  • Email signature

After someone shares new pronouns with you, remember to practice!

Time to Practice!

The importance of pronouns will continue throughout our history and is becoming more and more critical for us. A survey conducted in 2020 by the Trevor Project showed that 1 in 4 LGBTQIA youths use pronouns other than he/him or she/her. Respecting someone’s pronouns leads to better mental health for that individual. In 2018, a study found that correct pronoun use can be associated with reduced depression and suicide risk.

Additional Resources

Want to dive in and learn more? Click on the resources below!

GLSEN: Pronoun Guide

CBC News: Why my pronouns matter

VeryWell Mind: Why Pronoun Use Matters

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Creative Reaction Lab

At Creative Reaction Lab, we believe that Black and Latinx youth are integral to advancing racial equity and developing interventions for their communities.