In order to be inclusive of our gender-queer, trans and gender non-conforming constituents, WACE 2023 is committed to having gender pronouns on all participant’s conference name tags.
Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding pronouns at WACE 2023.
Why is WACUHO asking for my gender pronouns?
In order to be inclusive of our gender-queer, trans and gender non-conforming peers, (and to allow every human the opportunity to share how they would like to identify/be referred to) WACE is committed to having gender pronouns on all participants’ conference name tags so that all attendees and presenters will be able to easily identify pronouns that folx amount of times a colleague is misgendered.
How am I supposed to know what someone’s pronouns are?
It is very simple…. Just ask! You can ask, “What pronouns do you use?” or “Do you have specific pronouns you would like me to use when interacting with you?” It is not appropriate to use the word “prefer.” Gender/gender-identity is not preferred, it just is.
What is misgendering?
Misgendering occurs when you intentionally or unintentionally refer to a person, relate to a person, or use language to describe a person that doesn’t align with their affirmed gender. The most common example of misgendering is referring to an individual by pronouns that they do not identify with.
How does misgendering affect people who are transgender?
Misgendering can have negative consequences for a transgender person’s self-confidence and overall mental health. A 2014 study in the Journal Self and Identity asked transgender people about their experiences with being misgendered. Researchers found that:
32.8% of participants reported feeling very stigmatized when misgendered.
Those who were misgendered more frequently experienced lower self-esteem around their appearance.
They also had a reduced sense of strength and continuity in their identity.
What can you do to prevent misgendering?
1. Don’t make assumptions.
You might think you know how someone identifies, but you can never know for certain unless you ask. Remember, one’s appearance doesn’t determine their gender and/or pronouns.
2. Always ask what words you should use!
You can ask people specifically or ask people who know a given person. Or, you can simply get in the habit of asking everyone their pronouns and terms they use for themselves.
3. Use the right name and pronouns for the trans* people in your life.
You should do this all the time, not just when they’re around. This signals the proper way to refer to your trans* friends/colleagues to other people.
4. Avoid using gendered language to speak to or describe people unless you know it’s the language that a particular person uses.
Examples of gendered language include:
honorifics such as “sir,” “ma’am,” “Mr. or Miss”
terms like “ladies,” “guys,” or “ladies and gentlemen” to refer to a group of people
typically gendered adjectives such as “handsome” and “beautiful”
“Practice using these gender-inclusive terms and forms of address instead. You can say things like “my friend” instead of “sir” or “ma’am,” and refer to groups of people as “folxsy’all,” or “guests.” An additional honorific instead of “Mr.” or “Ms.” etc, is "Mx". (Pronounced mix)
5. Don’t default to gender-neutral.
It can seem like using the singular “they” to describe everyone is a safe bet, and sometimes that’s actually a good way to navigate a situation where you’re uncertain how a person identifies. But, it’s important to respect the wishes of people who have specific gendered language that they want you to use. When in doubt, you can always refer to individuals by name.
What do I do if I misgender someone?
Apologize and move on. It is not the responsibility or job of the individual you have misgendered to accept your apology, educate you, or make you feel okay about misgendering them. An apology on your end could lead to an educational/developmental dialogue between you and that person. We can learn a lot if we lean into the discomfort of a situation and listen and hear a person’s experience/story of whom you misgendered. Of course, this kind of dialogue can only happen with the consent of the person whom you misgendered.
For more information, support, resources, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org