You might be wondering why my blog today is about these three words, but all will become clear.
As part of the training that our volunteers attend before they start supporting our members, we look at these three words. They can be used to include, exclude and in a way, to protect. Inclusive language is really easy to get right, and and important step in being a true trans ally.
Talking about ourselves
When we use ‘I’, we own what we are saying. We are saying that we recognise that the feelings or actions we are talking about belong to us. “when this happens, I feel sad”
If we change this to ‘you’, we might be protecting ourselves by distancing our feelings. “When this happens, you feel sad”
By moving from ‘you’ to ‘I’ we can choose to set a pattern of accepting our feelings and responsibilities for our actions.
Talking about others
With others we can use ‘you’ and ‘we’. When we use ‘you’ we are saying that the other person is separate. On the other hand, the honest use of ‘we’ includes the other person. “Sometimes when we have been through this kind of thing, we can feel sad”
By using ‘we’ we can show others that they are not alone in our small disclosures about ourselves.
Bringing inclusive language to life
Using inclusive language in your day to day vocabulary, might take some adjustment. But for most, it’s relatively easy. You may not see the benefit of using inclusive language in your day to day life, but other people will most certainly feel the positive benefit. If you want to learn more, and put it to use supporting our members, you can fill out our volunteer application here.