In honor of Pride Month, I would like to discuss why pronouns play such an important role in the LGBTQ+ community. Unfortunately, there are many people that choose to ignore the large impact such a small gesture has on a person experiencing or having experienced gender dysphoria. I’d like to bring up a show that my cousin recently showed me called Pose. This show depicts many instances that the LGBTQ+ community faced on a daily basis during the 1980s. During this time, this community was not as well recognized nor was it as respected as it is today. The characters throughout this show faced discrimination based on both their gender identity and their skin color. I highly suggest watching this show because it gives viewers a better way to understand intersectionality and how addressing someone using the proper pronoun can go a long way.
While watching this show I really liked how the producers acknowledged the internal struggles that transgender women faced. A lot of the women in this show struggled with their identity because they were born into a religious family that did not accept them for who they were and were forced out of their homes because of it. Imagine being forced out of your home because your parents did not want to accept you for simply being you. Pronouns are the first step to showing and affirming the identity of those that are trans especially since they have been told otherwise for so long. Research shows that addressing someone using the correct pronouns has strong psychometric properties in transgender women.
It is easy to make an assumption about someone’s gender, but taking that extra step to acknowledge how that assumption can be potentially harmful to someone takes a conscious effort. I feel that being able to take a step back and even correct yourself can mean so much to a person that is constantly being misgendered because of the assumptions people have made about them. It is said that trans individuals are at higher risk for mental health concerns due to the marginalization they face. The LGBTQ+ community simply wants to be acknowledged and seen for who they are instead of constantly being dehumanized when it comes to their sexual identity. People should be able to love who they want to love and identify themselves how ever they please. Our society has so many outdated societal norms that need to be reconstructed. Being able to correctly identify someone should be easy as asking and remembering someone’s name. It is better to ask someone which pronouns they prefer rather than assuming.
Bowling, Jessamyn, Barker, Jordan, Gunn, Laura H, & Lace, Tatim. (2020). "It just feels right": Perceptions of the effects of community connectedness among trans individuals. PloS One, 15(10), e0240295–e0240295.
Sevelius, Jae M, Chakravarty, Deepalika, Dilworth, Samantha E, Rebchook, Greg, & Neilands, Torsten B. (2020). Gender affirmation through correct pronoun usage: Development and validation of the transgender women's importance of pronouns (TW-IP) scale. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(24), 9525.
Our Lady J, Eyrich, L. & Kay, E. (Producers) (2018, June 3). Pose [Television broadcast]. FX Networks.