LGBTQ Center Works To Normalize Pronoun Usage

Julia Conant, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Central Connecticut’s LGBT Center took to the Student Center with their “Pronoun Etiquette Campaign” to spread awareness and help people’s understanding of pronoun usage.

Throughout the month of Sept., the center promoted the idea of normalizing introductions while using one’s preferred pronouns.

The three most commonly used pronouns are she, he and they. For people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth (also known as cisgender), stating their pronouns may not be a concern, as most people probably guess them correctly.

However, according to GLAAD, transgender people have a higher chance of being referred to as the wrong gender or having someone use the wrong pronouns to describe them. When transgender people are the only ones who have to introduce themselves with their pronouns, it can be isolating and can also cause someone to inadvertently out themselves as transgender.

“When you have to introduce yourself with a pronoun that may not match your assigned gender at birth or how you’re presenting [yourself] at the time, it can be kind of intimidating going into a cis dominated space,” Central student Amara Osorio said. “You’re the only one who has to introduce your pronouns because you’re the ‘other.’”

To avoid the feeling of being the only “other” in the room, the LGBT Center encourages cisgender people to introduce themselves with their pronouns as well.

“If we get everyone to start using their pronouns, then we bring everyone to the same level,” Osorio said. “We’re eliminating that fear of rejection and confusion from cis people and just creating an environment where everyone can get over the introductions and just validate each other.”

LGBT Center member Myles Place shared that some CCSU staff members are signing off their emails with their preferred pronouns despite being cisgender, which is a step in the right direction for the campaign.

“We’re heading towards the goal of it being a cultural practice,” Place, Central student, said. “So that someone isn’t inherently outed as trans or someone doesn’t get harassment or eyebrow raises or ‘What’s a pronoun?’”

 The Pronoun Etiquette Campaign table gives out useful information on pronoun usage along with buttons with pronouns on them. Those who visited the table who encouraged to take one that matched their pronouns.

Putting a button on a shirt or backpack, especially for those that are cisgender, is a way to support the campaign and promote correct pronoun usage. It can also start a conversation about pronouns, spreading the knowledge of them and created a well-informed environment.

“Having these conversations helps normalize the topic of pronouns,” Central student Reanna Leary said.

For more information on the campaign, visit the LGBT Center on the third floor of the Student Center.

There will also be an upcoming LGBT Center event at the end of the month: Welcome Back Dinner and Bingo Night on Monday, Sept. 30 at 5 p.m.