One of the conversations I have been having a lot lately has been around email signatures.
Many people have been adding their pronouns into their email signature (both trans+ people and allies) and some people have been asking why.
This can be important for a number of reasons.
Allies (and potential allies) I now invite you to imagine that you are questioning your gender or know that you are trans/non binary.
Things feel a bit overwhelming. You feel better for realising and admitting it to yourself but you’re worried about the world around you. You just want to be able to be yourself.
Everywhere you look there are people who don’t know this thing about you – currently it’s your secret – but you want them to know you. You want them to recognise who you really are. To acknowledge you for yourself.
You’ve heard about families throwing people out – but also ones that are so accepting that the most they got when they came out was ‘we know’.
You’ve heard about supportive friends – but also about friendships that are lost.
You’ve heard the horror stories about a trans+ person telling someone who they thought would be supportive but then were outed to people they weren’t ready to tell.
Other people feel like a huge unknown.
You just want to be yourself.
You’re at work and check your emails. The friendly HR person has their pronouns in their email signature. Hmm. Maybe you can talk to her when you’re ready. That’s reassuring.
You’re at home and an email comes in from the person who runs the gym you go to. Pronouns there too? Hmm. Maybe you can come out and still use the gym.
You’re signing up for a course and the trainer has their pronouns on their email too. Hmm. Maybe you can go on this course being yourself instead of hiding it.
Three examples of moments when a tiny signal has let you know that you are safe in these spaces.
My pronouns are he/him.
Where are your pronouns visible?
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