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The importance of pronouns: Understanding and using gender-neutral language

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  • 1 in 4 young people in the LGTBQ+ community use neutral pronouns. 
  • 25% of people who use pronouns prefer neutral ones. 
  • Understand the importance of pronouns.

What is the importance of pronouns? Understand how you can use language to be an ally to the LGTB+ community, which in recent years has seen an increase in physical and verbal attacks. The correct use of pronouns is an important way to respect the autonomy and essence of each person.

According to a survey by The Trevor Project, teenagers belonging to the LGTBQ+ community prefer the use of non-binary pronouns, although in more recent years younger people have opted for neopronouns.

What is the importance of pronouns?

Importance of pronouns

What is the importance of pronouns? To many people, the use of pronouns might seem like a fad or a trend that will go out of style. However, for people whose gender identity is different from that established by social norms, pronouns are extremely important, since their correct use implies respect, reaffirmation, security and validation.

In most cases, people will tell you their preferred pronouns either in person, on their social media, in their email signature, or by other means. If a person doesn’t tell you what their pronouns are, you can use their name and, if you accidentally get their preferred pronouns wrong, simply apologize and try not to repeat the mistake.


neutral language

Usually, we refer to people with the sex that was assigned to them at birth, but in some cases this does not correspond to the gender with which they identify. For example, a transgender or non-binary person could use the pronouns he or she.

This has nothing to do with sexual orientation, and is a way of reaffirming a person’s identity. Some members of the non-binary or gender fluid community may come to prefer the pronouns he or she.

Gender neutral

gender neutral

Other members of the LGBTQ+ community prefer to use gender neutral pronouns. These are used, as their name indicates, in a neutral way, that is, they are not associated with a particular gender — either because the person does not identify with it or because they prefer to distance themselves from the expectations associated with being labeled a man or a woman.

In some cases, the pronouns he or she are seen as a limiting. For this reason, many members of the LGBTQ+ community prefer neutral pronouns as a way of reaffirming their identity without becoming attached to social norms that have generated expectations they don’t subscribe to.

Neopronouns: Pronouns for the next generation

Importance of pronouns

In recent years, neopronouns have gained traction. These are meant to be gender neutral. Two examples are them are ‘ze’ and ‘zir’, although some people create their own words.

Not all non-binary or gender fluid people prefer to stick to neutral pronouns or neopronouns. Sometimes just using their given name is sufficient to celebrate their identity in a respectful way.

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