By Isabel Tobon
In today’s society, many things have been normalized by Gen Z, such as posting our daily lives on the internet for hundreds to see every day. But most important is the way we identify ourselves.
Pronouns are words that replace nouns – for example, she, he, it, we and they – and can be used when identifying a person. Presently, many websites have accepted and embraced the options to choose one’s own pronoun as female, male, non-binary, or “prefer not to say,” when choosing gender while creating profiles and accounts. Organizations like Planned Parenthood also allow people to be identified as they like, whether it corresponds to their biological gender or not. Social media had a lot to do with accepting alternative pronouns. It is now a trend to put pronouns on bio sections, where it can easily be seen by people who click on our profiles.
Social media also allows us to spread more information on pronouns and why it is important for non-binary people.
“I love that the accessibility of more pronouns has become an option,” states Josabeth Simestierra, a third-year student at John Jay who is part of the LGBTQ community.
“Non-binary/gender-nonconforming people have always existed, but they never had a name or option to name those identities, and by having more pronouns it allows these people to be seen, heard, and validated and that’s all the LGBTQ community strives to be for anyone. Their identities deserve to be represented and I feel like as a cis person, I will do everything in my power to make space for non-binary / gender-nonconforming individuals by asking for everyone’s pronouns no matter how they may represent themselves because we shouldn’t leave room for hurtful assumptions. We’re headed towards the right direction and I’m excited to explore more identities.”
Young adults today tend to be more open minded and accepting of this trend because there is now more transparency and information on these subjects. Many more people in the LGBTQ community are comfortable to speak up and educate others on the topic.
“I think it is great that pronouns has been normalized in our society because it shows there is respect for the LGBTQ community,” states another third-year student at Queensborough and supporter of the LGBTQ community, Christopher Lucero. “It’s also great that the community can live with acceptance and be welcomed as equally as everyone else. I have friends in the community who likes to be identified as they want, and am glad to call them the pronoun they liked to be called with no hesitation, I respect them and will continue to do so.”
It has been puzzling that such a simple gesture to identify people is seen as such a point of disagreement, when it will not harm anyone in any way. Now, beyond social media platforms, it is up to organizations like schools to take a stand and offer the option to choose pronouns in their questionnaires to enable students to say how we want to be identified in our classes.