Photo by Kimiya Factory

Big Sis Advice: Respect People’s Pronouns. Period.

Arts & Life

Before I begin, I want to make clear that I am not speaking on behalf of an entire marginalized population or anyone’s identity in particular, including my own. As individuals, our experiences are sacred and our own, forever. However, if I hear someone disregard another’s identity by invalidating their pronouns with no remorse, I am literally going to scream.

A person’s preferred pronouns demonstrate how they would like to be regarded or referenced. For example, mine are she, her and hers. Pronouns are important and sacred to a person’s autonomy as well as the uphill battle towards transgender inclusivity. I’ve heard other’s justify not respecting people’s pronouns on the grounds that they don’t understand the concept, but this is problematic because it’s not that person’s job to understand; it’s their job to listen.

I never want this advice column to be based solely on my opinion. However, I do want to invite the lived experiences of individuals who I listen to and admire this column for educational purposes. I want readers to learn from one another and practice self-awareness after reading a column like mine. Respect people’s preferred pronouns because their experience will never be yours. Respecting a person’s pronouns is respecting their identity – even when they aren’t around.

– For the people willing to grow

Big Sis

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