International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31st is a day to celebrate awareness about transgender, gender nonconforming, and non-binary people and their accomplishments, while also recognizing that there is still work to be done on trans issues, rights and justice. Donating to charity, engaging in conversation, and learning to actively use and ask for pronouns are all fantastic ways to be an active and informed part of the celebration. Let’s talk more about pronoun awareness.
The pronouns we use (he/she/they) in everyday life are often associated with gender, but these quick connections are not always accurate – and making assumptions can be harmful. Respectfully asking and using someone’s correct pronouns is a great way to show your understanding of another person’s identity. Here’s what that looks like.
When in doubt, ask
Instead of guessing a new person’s pronouns, a helpful way to create inclusivity and awareness is simply by asking. Questions you might ask someone could be “Can you remind me which pronouns you use for yourself?” Using someone’s first name is another tool to create a space where there’s more room for others to identify their pronouns first, before assumptions are made.
Learn from your mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes sometimes – the important part is learning from them. One of the best ways to deal with getting someone’s pronouns wrong is to apologize and correct. If you catch it immediately, say it then. If not, you can always say the same thing to them in private and continue on. Sometimes dwelling on the mistake, over apologizing or stating that it’s hard to get right can be more harmful.
Use pronouns in your everyday
Another easy way to create awareness and acceptance of transgender and gender nonconforming identities is to practice using pronouns in your day to day. Introduce yourself with your pronouns and add them to your email signature. The goal is for everyone, regardless of identity, to feel comfortable in their own skin and to use the language they use to describe themselves.
Transgender Visibility and Health
International Transgender Day of Visibility reminds us all of the issues and awareness surrounding LGBTQ+ rights, and how recognition and understanding can be a step in the right direction.
At Valleywise Health, we’re committed to providing an accepting, supportive and affirmative environment for all our patients. Bringing awareness through International Transgender Day of Visibility, as well as everyday actions that support the transgender, gender-nonconforming, and LGBTQ+ community as a whole is part of this commitment.
We are pleased to share that the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) has designated the Valleywise health care system with their “LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader” for the second year in a row. Valleywise Health is the first hospital in Arizona to achieve the designation, awarded in the 12th edition of HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).
For more information, please contact Valleywise Health.