International Pronouns Day
Inaugural Observance, October 17, 2018

Colleges, workplaces, and organizations holding educational and empowering events

International Pronouns Day seeks to make asking, sharing, and respecting personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity, but many transgender and gender nonconforming people are regularly called by the wrong pronouns, which can lead them to feel invisible and marginalized.

“Our workplaces and campuses should be places of empowerment and care for others. Using the right pronouns to refer to a person is affirming and respectful,” said Shige Sakurai (they), the campaign’s founder and the creator of the educational MyPronouns.org website.

The first International Pronouns Day is scheduled for Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Over 300 groups from a brewery in Virginia to a transgender organization in Italy have endorsed the day, including more than 125 college offices and organizations. The full list of endorsers is online at: https://pronounsday.org/endorsers

Some key endorsements come from groups such as the Association of American Colleges and Universities, ACPA: College Student Educators International, NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, the GLBT Round Table of the American Library Association, Out for Health: Planned Parenthood’s LGBT Health & Wellness Program, APA Division 44: Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, and CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers.

Organizations and individuals in over a dozen countries will participate, and each will engage in activities they have created for their own local context. For example:

  • Argo Collective will run a workshop on gender inclusion in the workplace in Brooklyn, New York.

  • North Ridgeville High School’s Gender & Sexuality Alliance plans to share their pronouns and create visibility.

  • TransgenderIndia.com is planning to conduct social media outreach on the day.

  • Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota will be tabling and handing out pronoun buttons.

  • The Allsorts Youth Project, in England, will make pronoun badges and decorate cupcakes.

  • The Mayor of Ithaca, New York has issued a proclamation recognizing International Pronouns Day.

  • University of Virginia’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights is hosting a screening of the documentary Free Cece!, followed by a panel discussion and reception.

Others will be hosting transgender panel discussions, posting online with the #PronounsDay hashtag, working to create supportive institutional policies and practices, and creating awareness in their workplaces, campuses, and communities.

The event’s website (https://www.pronounsday.org) includes ideas and tools for participating, answers to common questions, and a registration form for individuals, organizations, and endorsers.

“Intersecting forms of oppression deeply impact transgender communities. These actions are part of the larger work of creating and sustaining inclusive and supportive communities for everyone,” said Luca Maurer (he), a campaign Executive Board member, about this first ever observance.

For more information:
Genny Beemyn (they), Co-Chair
413-545-4826; genny@umass.edu