By Monica Tadeo-Garrido
Every year WCH excitedly celebrates Pride month with staff and community, and this year, we are moving forward with our celebrations while being as inclusive as possible. Women’s College Hospital is committed to creating a safe and inclusive space for everyone, and part of that is getting familiar with the importance of pronouns.
Pronouns are words we use to refer to others in third person and can heavily imply a gender, and include she/her, he/him, and they/them. Gender identity refers to how each one of us personally and individually experience gender; it can be the same or different from the one assigned at birth. Gender identity differs from sexual orientation, which defines the way someone can feel towards others in a physical, sexual, romantic, and emotional way. Both are part of the LGBTQ2S+ spectrum.
Using pronouns correctly is just as important as referring to someone by their correct name. By doing so, you are showing respect, helping to foster an inclusive environment, and simply acknowledging others for who they truly are. Someone’s gender is a personal and individual identity, and we all have the right to feel validated for who we are. Knowing this, we can start to normalize the disclosure of pronouns by offering our own or asking others what they prefer to use, rather than assuming.
Pronoun buttons are small pinbacks buttons (or stickers) that are worn to indicate someone’s preferred pronoun, and their use is an act of normalizing everyone’s true identity. When more people start to offer their own pronouns – or indicate them on a pronoun button – it can destigmatize the disclosure of pronouns and can help make everyone, no matter where they fall on the gender spectrum, feel included and valid.
If you’d like to learn more about pronouns and get your own pronoun button, join the Pride Committee on Tuesday, June 21 from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. in the Peter Gilgan Atrium for Popcorn and Pronouns. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep Women’s a safe and inclusive space, and we encourage everyone who is interested to use a pronoun button – or start offering and asking for pronouns – in their everyday lives.