Being inclusive means that your student club and its members commit to an ongoing process of education. Your club will need to make an effort to ensure that its activities and advocacy efforts are inclusive of transgender and gender nonconforming people and issues.
Here are a couple of ways to make sure your GSA is affirming and respectful of trans and gender nonconforming students.
Use Gender-Neutral Pronouns
Some transgender and gender nonconforming people may prefer what are traditionally thought of as female or male pronouns, like “she” or “he,” but others prefer gender-neutral pronouns. Respecting people’s preferred gender pronouns is an important way to be supportive of everyone’s identity.
- “Zie” (pronounced “z”) is subjective and is used instead of “she” or “he.”
- “Hir” (pronounced “here”) is both objective and possessive and is used instead of “him,” “his,” “her,” and “hers.”
- “They,” “them,” and “their” are also gender-neutral and can be used as singular gender-neutral pronouns.
Using “it” to refer to people is offensive and dehumanizing, so make sure to stick with gender-neutral pronouns when appropriate!
Practice Gender-Neutral Pronouns
Plan an activity to allow people to become more fluent with these pronouns. For example, break the group into pairs, have each person get to know the other, and then have each member introduce his/her/hir partner to the group using only gender-neutral pronouns. Remember to gently correct people if they make a mistake.
What other tips do you have?