Last week we discussed gender pronouns, and how when someone shares their pronouns with you, you should try your best to remember what they are and use them appropriately. Of course, we’re all human, and sometimes mistakes happen. You may accidentally use “he” or “she” when referring to someone who’s told you they use “they” pronouns, for example. This is also called misgendering someone.
Do this even if they’re not around. This will help you to remember to use the right pronoun in the future, will help others to remember, and will communicate your allyship (support) to the LGBTQ2S+ community. There is no need to excessively apologize, justify why you made the mistake, or defend yourself. Doing this only centers your own needs and feelings over the persons who has been misgendered.
The general consensus is that if you misgender someone, it should never be the person who you misgendered’s responsibility to make you feel better about it or to help you do better at respecting their identity. Language can make such a huge impact on mental health and self-esteem, so we should all do what we can to communicate our respect to others with our words and reactions!