Aloha CNH! 

    Today, we wanted to take the time to inform all of you about pronouns, and how we can implement these into our everyday lives! Although it may seem minimal to introduce Pronouns whether through conversation or multimedia platforms (i.e. Social Media Platforms, Emails, etc) it is becoming more and more important in being able to be inclusive and respectful to all people! 

    Now you might be wondering, “Wait, Why do I have to tell/ask people about Pronouns?” This is a question that has been recently debated heavily, but as we progress through history, we have become steadily more and more aware that traditionalist views in assuming what someone’s pronouns/identity (in the case of their gender identity/expression) may be, have become obsolete. If you read last week’s Sunspot, we have come to a point where the Man and Woman binary is no longer applicable, further, one’s identity is made up of more than just the way they may present themselves physically on the outside, as the complexities of gender surpass an outward expression. So, we come to today, in which we want to encourage each of you to normalize the use of, and asking for, pronouns! 


Confused about what pronouns are and why we should use them? Check out this video:


Let’s talk about what we can do to normalize this, some tips for going through the process, and other FAQs: 

  • What pronouns are there other than He/She? 
    • This is a great question, and honestly, the best way to find out is through asking a person. The three most common categories are as follows:
      • He/Him/His – Male Identifying Person
      • She/Her/Hers – Female Identifying Person
      • They/Them/Theirs – Gender Neutral/Non-Binary/Gender Queer Individuals OR if pronouns are unknown
    • However, note that these are NOT the only variations of pronouns in the world, which is why it is important to ask for someone’s pronouns! 
  • How do I ask someone’s Pronouns? Is this offensive? Why can’t I assume someone’s pronouns? Etc. 
    • This is where normalization comes into play, because historically asking for a person’s pronouns is not the norm, and is something that seems very weird to do. We are not offending someone when we ask their pronouns as we are ensuring that we are validating their existence through whatever forms they may choose to express their identity to the world. And like I said above, we can’t assume someone’s pronouns because as we may realize that for some, gender/gender expression/pronouns/etc is not binary (exclusively male or female) it can be something in the middle of nowhere at all, and that’s okay! 
    • How do you ask for someone’s pronouns? Simple, here’s an example between two people meeting each other for the first time: 
      • Person A: “Hello! My name is Sunny!” 
      • Person B: “Hello Sunny! My name is Luna, my pronouns are She/Her/Hers, What are yours?”
      • A: “Mine are He/Him/His, it’s so nice to meet you!” 
      • B: “You too!” 
  • What if I don’t know someone’s pronouns? What if I forget them? Etc
    • Now for many, this may be a big change but its okay to mess up or stumble while you are learning! The point of this is to learn and being able to make it a commonplace – and if you mess up, simply apologize, rephrase what you may have said, and be sure to be actively engaging to ensure that you get the hang of it!
    • Here’s an example for if you mess up, and vice versa: 
      • Sunny: “Hey Luna! Star went to a service event, and left HIS glasses, will you see HIM today?”
      • Luna: “Oh, Star goes by THEY/THEM pronouns, but yes I will, I can give it back to THEM.
      • Sunny: “Oh, sorry about that! Thanks for taking it to THEM, I will see y’all later!” 
    • Or, if you don’t know someone’s pronouns, be sure to use THEY/THEM just to be safe! 
  • How can I incorporate Pronouns into my life? 
    • There are many ways we can normalize Pronouns in everyday life! For Example, put YOUR pronouns in the following places: 
      • Social Media (In your Social Media Bio) 
      • Email (Below your Name, In your Signature) 
      • Zoom Name (Next to your Name)
      • Name Badges (Below Your Name) 
    • And continue to bring them up In your everyday conversations, through ice breakers, and even if you’re meeting someone online for the first time! 


    Now this is just a BRIEF overview, and there may be hundreds of more questions about pronouns and that’s OK, this can be a learning process for many, but be sure to engage with your club leaders and members who may be more aware of the topic, educate yourself through various sources (see below), and just be willing to go through the ups and downs of learning something new! 


  For more resources on Pronouns, check out the following: 


    This was a lot, I know, but as we begin to learn, educate, and normalize things like this, we will be able to be more respectful to all people, and all identities that we may find within our organization, within our communities, and throughout the world. Asking someone’s pronouns is a step toward respecting, recognizing, and validating someone, regardless of their identity which is always good to do. 


So, what are your pronouns?

Aaron Piña


20/21 External Relations Chair