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Take the Pronoun Pledge!

4 Reasons to Introduce Yourself with Your Pronouns

To honor Transgender Day of Visibility, TJWW cofounders Gabrielle Claiborne (she/her) and Linda Herzer (she/her) invite you to take the Pronoun Pledge, to be a stronger, more visible ally... and to change the world.

Gabrielle: As we approach Transgender Day of Visibility this Sunday, many of us do so with heavy hearts in light of our current global climate. Trans and gender expansive people continue to be misunderstood, our safety is put at risk, our very existence is debated, and our well-being is jeopardized by political agendas. The weight of this escalating reality is something we have to carry and navigate every day. Yet, despite attempts to erase us, we find a way to not only survive, but thrive. We are resilient, we are competent, we persevere. We have no other option than to be our authentic selves, because we know, at the end of the day, that our visibility is our viability.

But Transgender Day of Visibility is not just an opportunity for gender diverse folks to be visible; it’s a time for our allies to be visible as well. That’s why we’re inviting you to be visible along with us by taking our Pronoun Pledge.

I will always introduce myself with my pronouns.

Linda: On the one hand, this pledge is easy. But I can tell you, as an advocate who’s taken this pledge, I’ve noticed that sometimes, it’s hard. Like last year, when my daughter and I took a 5-day small group tour of Ireland, and I had to introduce myself to the whole group for the first time. As I waited my turn, I got anxious, thinking, “Am I going to share my pronouns? No one else is sharing theirs. What will they think of me? Will I embarrass my daughter by doing something different from everyone else? What if someone doesn’t like me because they think I’m trying to push some ‘woke agenda’?” And on and on.

Well, I did stay true to my commitment. But all those questions that ran through my mind, and the intense anxiety I felt, helped me realize just why this commitment is so powerful, so personally life changing, and so culturally impactful.

Personally, it’s life changing because it allows me, just for a moment, to walk in the shoes of a gender diverse person. If the thought of showing my commitment to gender diversity in a small group of travelers caused me that much anxiety, how much more stressful must it be for a gender diverse person to show up in this world, as their authentic self? How anxiety producing must it be for them to navigate all the new people and unknown situations that they experience—not just once a year on vacation—but every single day? So this Pronoun Pledge will change you personally, because it will help you develop empathy.

Gabrielle: Developing empathy by putting yourselves in a gender diverse person's shoes is what we call “heart allyship.” Heart allyship involves understanding an individual's lived experience through that person's lens, even though it may be different from your own. It's not just having head knowledge that makes someone a good ally. Being a good ally requires developing empathetic heart knowledge by centering yourself in similar experiences as the one who is being transgressed. As Linda shared, committing to always introducing yourself with your pronouns puts you in situations that allow you to develop empathetic heart knowledge.

Linda: Taking our Pronoun Pledge is also culturally impactful because every time you do it, you create an educational moment. For those who already understand gender diversity, your pronouns remind them that we can no longer assume someone’s gender just by looking at or listening to them.

For those who don’t already understand gender diversity, introducing yourself with your pronouns can open up an opportunity to explain that gender is much more complex than we grew up understanding it to be. So little by little, committing to the Pronoun Pledge can help us actually change the world, one introduction at a time.

Gabrielle: This Transgender Day of Visibility, we invite you to commit to being a stronger, better, more visible ally by taking the Pronoun Pledge.

I will always introduce myself with my pronouns.

CONTACT US to discuss how we can support you and your colleagues in being even stronger allies and advocates.


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