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Gender pronouns are important, need to be respected

Tamyra Baggett, Staff Writer

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The usage of specific gender pronouns is becoming more prevalent in school environments, because some students identify other than male or female and use certain pronouns to fit their identity.

According to the LGBT Resource Center, there are currently 76 different gender identifies, all of which come with their own pronouns. Someone that identifies as a gender other than male or female may run into trouble when trying to figure out what pronouns to use.

For example, if someone was to identify as gender neutral or non-binary, the English language doesn’t have gender-neutral pronouns; therefore, someone who identifies as gender neutral have to use third person pronouns such as they, them, and their to refer to themselves. In other cases, if someone identifies as a gender that doesn’t have specific pronouns, they would have to create their own.

There are students that identify as a gender other than male or female and it’s important that we respect their pronouns. Respecting the pronouns of someone with a unique gender identity is the basis of respect for them and their identity, so when you refer to someone using the wrong pronouns it can make them feel disrespected, dismissed, invalidated, or alienated.

When people aren’t accepting or accommodating of gender identity and purposely refer to someone using the wrong pronouns, this can be mentally harming to the person because they may have never felt like the gender they were born as. Purposely using pronouns that you know aren’t theirs can cause that person to become depressed, insecure, and even anxious in their surrounding environment.

It is important to respect each other and our identities because your identity is what makes you who you are. Pronouns may not sound like a huge defining factor of identity, but they are. It’s imperative that we respect them so that no one ever has to feel disrespected, dismissed, invalidated, or alienated. A school is a place where people should be able to act like themselves. Denying someone respect because you don’t agree with or understand their identity is wrong and shouldn’t happen in today’s society.

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Gender pronouns are important, need to be respected