17 November 2021
“Hiya, Dai here. A cis-het* white dude to talk about pronouns… I know hold the applause! Gender pronouns aren’t new. Describing people as ‘he’ or ‘she’, groups of people as ‘they’ or ‘them,’ is something we all do every day. What some people may not know is there are many valid gender-neutral pronouns that are becoming increasingly common. This would include the use of the singular ‘they’ or ‘ze’. While the pronouns we use often have some relation to our gender identities, pronouns themselves are not indicators of gender.
“Here at YG we are supporting staff who wish to declare their pronouns, chiefly because it makes everything a bit easier. I’ve had plenty of conversations over email where professionals and others have been called ‘her’, ‘she’ or even ‘madam’ once. These did not upset or offend me but they were incorrect and I realised that the situation could have been made easier if we just put our pronouns in the footer of our emails.
“Many people assume that the pronouns they should use for an individual are obvious: people who look like men should be referred to using he/him, and people who look like women should be referred to as she/her. However, these assumptions based on appearance can be frustrating and harmful, particularly for trans, non-binary and androgynous people who might challenge people’s perceptions of what a man or woman looks like and those who also might use gender-neutral pronouns. If we choose to make assumptions about which pronouns are correct, we risk mis-gendering people and/or singling out people who want to clarify their pronouns.
“By supporting staff wishing to add their pronouns to their email signatures we hope to show respect and create an inclusive environment for all our staff and foster kindness with the professionals and young people we work with. We also hope that by normalising the sharing of pronouns it will stop being unusual and start becoming something which we all do naturally, without thinking.
“Our fellow brothers, sisters and siblings of unspecified gender are people and deserve all the dignity, love and respect that everyone does. And if our society demands that they assert who they are, then it would be a kind and inclusive thing to do to normalise this by doing the same.
“So hi, I’m Dai Thomas. I use he/him pronouns, I love Godzilla films, Korean food and I hope you have a wonderful day.”
To understand more about the use of personal pronouns visit:
*Cishet is a combination of the “cis” in “cisgender” which refers to anyone whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth and the “het” in “heterosexual.”