Pronouns 101

Kennesaw State Panhellenic Council is thrilled to announce the addition of Pronouns to the recruitment process this year. This is a step towards inclusivity to create a more welcoming environment for all.

What are Pronouns?

Pronouns are the words you may like others to use for you in place of your proper name. Some examples include “she/her” or “he/him” or “they/them”. Some people use specific pronouns, any pronouns, or none at all. Here is an example of using “they/them” in a sentence: Sarah signed up for recruitment, and they are so excited!

Using singular “they” pronouns have been used in the English language since the 14th century!


Why focus on Pronouns?

You may have noticed that people are sharing their pronouns in introductions, on name tags, or in social media bios. This gives everyone the opportunity to self-identify instead of assuming someone’s identity or which pronouns they use. Including pronouns is a first step toward respecting people’s identity and creating a more welcoming space for people of all genders. This is more inclusive because Pronouns can sometimes be a signifier for someone’s gender identity but not always. We do not want to assume people’s gender identity based on expression (typically shown through clothing, hairstyle, mannerisms, etc.) By providing an opportunity for people to share their pronouns, you’re showing that you’re not assuming that their gender identity is based on their appearance.


What If I Don’t Want to Share My Pronouns?

That is completely okay! Providing space and opportunity for people to share their pronouns does not mean that everyone feels comfortable or needs to share their pronouns. Some people may choose not to share their pronouns for a variety of reasons, i.e. they are questioning or using different pronouns, they don’t use any pronouns, they don’t feel comfortable sharing them at that moment or in that space, or they fear bullying or harassment after sharing.


What is Misgendering?

Misgendering refers to the experience of being labeled by others as a gender other than one that a person identifies with. Because many (not all) associate their pronouns with their gender identity, using the wrong pronouns intentionally or unintentionally is a form of misgendering. If you accidentally use the wrong pronoun when identifying someone, please apologize or say “thank you”, and immediately use the right pronoun.

i.e. This is Sarah, she is in my Pi Chi group. (you are corrected because Sarah uses they/them/theirs pronouns). Sorry, they are in my Pi Chi group. Or Thank you, they are in my Pi Chi group. Everyone makes mistakes, please take accountability for your mistake and continue using the correct pronoun. The important thing to be mindful of, is to not unload your guilty feelings on transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people or expect forgiveness.

For further education, take a look at this video and chart of personal pronouns. MTV breaks down the history of pronouns, and why it's so important to use a person's correct pronouns.

Thank you for reading! All education information is sourced from GLSEN (https://www.glsen.org/activity/pronouns-guide-glsen)

Please direct all questions to ksucpcquestions@gmail.com