What Twitter Is Saying About International Pronouns Day
Today is International Pronouns Day.
“Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.”
These are the words on the homepage of the International Pronouns Day website.
International Pronouns Day, which began last year, occurs on the 3rd Wednesday of October each year.
The day was created in order to “make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.”
As with many international and national “holidays,” Pronouns Day is creating a lot of conversation on Twitter. Everyone’s chiming in, from politicians…
Using someone’s correct pronouns—and giving your own—isn’t difficult.
I’m Julián Castro, he/him/él.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) October 16, 2019
…to the dictionary itself.
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) October 16, 2019
Thanks for clearing that up, dictionary!
Here are some more fun posts from #PronounsDay today 🙂
I think most people have accidentally misgendered someone. I have! What's important to remember is that misgendering someone in good faith should be followed by an apology and doing better.
We're not looking for petty fights. We're just trying to survive.#PronounsDay
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) October 16, 2019
Just popping up to remind you that y'all already use "they" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun ALL THE TIME in English without even noticing and yet suddenly when you get asked to do it it's "confusing". #PronounsDay
— Franki Cookney (@FrankiCookney) October 16, 2019
It's international pronouns day! Remember that if you're not out, or you're uncomfortable or undecided, you don't have to put your pronouns anywhere and people should not be shaming you for it.
Remember that mandatory pronoun reveals can be harmful to individuals. #PronounsDay
— Another Thousand (@QueerandME) October 16, 2019
— American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (@afspnational) October 16, 2019
In addition to lots of useful info, personal anecdotes, and ideas, there is also a lot of, well…hateful stuff trending.
It is Twitter, after all! And like all of these hashtag days, they inspire beauty, kindness, and sharing, but create an opportunity for bigotry, disrespect, and violence.
From pastors to pundits, lots of conservatives are mocking or expressing hatred for #PronounsDay.
We won’t give concrete examples in here (who needs to see that shit?) but you can imagine…
It begs the question: is Twitter really the place for a discussion on pronouns and more broadly, the experience of trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people? Meaning…will the two polarized sides (people who acknowledge the existence of more than 2 gendered pronouns, and those who think there are men and women and that’s it) actually take anything in that the other side says when Twitter is the setting? Or is it just a contest of who can scream the loudest? Who can provide the best zinger?
How do we create actual spaces for discussion and consciousness raising that meet people where they are?
Do you have any ideas? Write to us at email@example.com
Happy International Pronouns Day and stay positive!