Our Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression (ARAO) committee provides leadership and strategies in aims of demonstrating our commitment to anti-oppression and anti-racism in all areas of our work. With the ARAO committee’s guidance, we have adopted the use of personal pronouns in our Radius email signatures.
Why Gender Identity and Personal Pronouns?
Gender identity is the personal sense of one’s gender, which may or may not correlate with the sex assigned at birth. Often, people make assumptions about the gender of a person based on their presentation or name. However, these assumptions are not always correct, and in fact can potentially cause harm. Making assumptions about one’s gender identity also reinforces the message that individuals must look a certain way to demonstrate the gender that they identify with.
Personal names and pronouns are two ways that gender identity may be expressed. Thus, the words people use to describe themselves and others are very important. The right terms can affirm identities and challenge discriminatory attitudes. The wrong ones can disempower, demean and reinforce exclusion. Using correct pronouns is a way to respect an individual and works to create an inclusive environment. Asking about and correctly using someone’s pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show respect for a person’s gender identity. Some commonly used pronouns are she/her, he/him and they/them.
Note that it is a privilege to not have to worry about which pronoun you will use in a certain situation or which pronoun will be used for you based on how others perceive your gender. It is important that folks who have this privilege acknowledge it and ensure they use the correct pronouns of others. Failing to do this is hurtful and perpetuates oppression
By taking the step to add personal pronouns to our Radius email signature, we are supporting individuals with diverse gender identities and gender expressions. By adopting this practice, we are contributing to a more inclusive and safe workplace for all.