Supporting the trans community

As an organisation, Possability People is committed to supporting the trans and non-binary community. One way we can do that is by including pronouns in our email signatures, or welcoming their introduction in meetings, in order to both signal understanding of the importance of pronouns, and therefore encourage an affirming space for colleagues/service users.

We believe it can be helpful to include pronouns in email signatures so other people do not make assumptions about a person’s gender because of how they look or the name they use.

Society has taught us to make assumptions about how to describe someone based on their appearance. Sometimes a person’s gender identity (the gender the person identifies with) does not align with their gender expression (the way they look). In addition, not everyone identifies strictly as male or female.

When a person includes their gender pronouns on their email signature line (or on a nametag, when introducing themselves, etc.), they are making their identity clear to the other person. It’s a way of saying “when you refer to me using pronouns (as opposed to by my name), these are the pronouns I’d like you to use.”

Most of us are privileged in that when someone guesses our pronouns, they’ll get them right. However, that’s not the case for everyone. Sometimes this might be because a person is gender non-conforming (where they don’t clearly conform to ‘traditional’ male or female standards) or are openly transgender (which might also leave some unsure which pronouns to use).

When people who identify as the gender they were born with (known as cisgender or cis) include their pronouns it normalises the practice for everyone. It can help trans or non-binary people feel more comfortable being themselves. It can also show that the person including their pronouns supports the trans community.

You can find out more about pronoun use on Stonewall’s Website.