Pronouns -- we all use them as part of everyday conversation. A pronoun is a word that refers to either the people talking (like “I” or “you”) or someone or something that is being talked about (like “she,” “it,” “them,” and “this”). Gender pronouns (such as “he/him/his” and “she/her/hers”) refer to people that you are talking about. Gender pronouns are the way that we constantly refer to each other’s gender identity - except we often don’t think a whole lot about them. Usually we interpret or “read” a person’s gender based on their outward appearance and expression, and “assign” a pronoun. But our reading may not be a correct interpretation of the person’s gender identity.
Because gender identity is internal -- an internal sense of one’s own gender -- we don’t necessarily know a person’s correct gender pronoun by looking at them. Additionally, a person may identify as genderfluid or genderqueer and may not identify along the binary of either male or female (e.g. “him” or “her”). Some people identify as both masculine and feminine, or neither. A genderqueer or non-binary identified person may prefer a gender-neutral pronoun such as the “they” (e.g. “I know Sam. They work in the Accounting Department”).
Please visit the following links for more information about preferred pronouns: