LGBTQ+ activist Sam Brinton explained why pronouns are important, when speaking with someone who is trans, or gender non-binary.
“Pronouns are a fascinating part of modern culture,” they stated. “I don’t think many people think about them very often, until someone like myself or others say their pronouns.
Brinton says they usually bring up their pronouns when they are introducing themselves and that respecting them is important. They said people often assume a person’s gender or pronouns from the moment they meet.
“I think our culture has built itself around an idea that the faster I can learn something about you, the faster I can interact with you,” they explained. “We are a system of speed and pronouns sometimes slow that down, right? Like, the assumption makes things easier.”
Brinton urges people to change their perspectives and to not assume someone’s pronouns/identity upon first seeing them. He suggests people introduce themselves with their pronouns to help establish how they want to be referred to as quickly as possible.
Merriam-Webster recently added “they” as a non-binary pronoun.
“Pronouns are confusing. I’m not going to say that they’re not, but if I can have the President of the United States use my gender neutral pronouns, and I can respectfully use theirs, then I think we’re going to be in a world where everyone can be respected and everyone has the responsibility to be respectful,” Brinton said.