When it comes to using personal pronouns, they're not only essential, but help build a more inclusive and accepting environment for everyone. Using gender-neutral terms can also do the same, and it's important to understand them. In this blog, we're going to cover why gender-neutral terms are important -- and some options you can start using.
The problem with "hey guys"
A popular term used to address a group of people regardless of gender is "guys." It's possible you've heard the phrase "hey guys" before -- at work, at a party, or any other gathering. This term carries a masculine connotation, and can be polarizing to folks. Within the LGBTQ+ community, this poses a problem.
The term "guys" is problematic for a few reasons. It can make someone feel misgendered, and it disregards a person's pronouns and identity. This term can also be triggering for some transgender and nonbinary folks, who have experienced discrimination and inflammatory insults directed at their gender.
Some gender-neutral options
For a lot of cisgender folks, this phrase may come across as totally harmless. This is why it's important to educate ourselves and spread awareness, so we can build a more inclusive and accepting community. Below are some gender-neutral terms and examples you can start using:
- Y'all: "Hey y'all!"
- Everyone: "Hi everyone."
- Friends: "How's it going, my friends?"
- Folks: "What are folks feeling today?"
- Team: "Hey team, let's get started."
- Homies: "Hi homies!"
- Peeps: "What's up, peeps?"
- Pals: "Okay pals, let's get going."
- You all: "Thank you all for attending this meeting today."
The rise of honoring pronouns & gender
A recent survey conducted by The Trevor Project indicated that more than quarter of LGBTQ+ youth use gender-neutral pronouns. Not only does this help improve the mental health of queer youth, but it also indicates that their pronouns are being honored by those around them, according to an earlier study completed by The Trevor Project.
It's important to note, though, that this doesn't mean more youth are beginning to identify as LGBTQ+. What is does mean, is that more youth are finding the correct terms to identify themselves with and building inclusive communities that honor their pronouns. And it's our job to continue educating ourselves, raising awareness, and embracing all identities and pronouns. If you want to learn more about using pronouns correctly, click here.