Why We Share Our Pronouns

From our newest Ducks to our graduating flock, we’re always working to include and engage everyone. One way you can do this is to share your pronouns, or the words you want to be called when people aren’t using your name. Like names, pronouns are an important part of how we identify that deserves to be respected. And we recognize that assuming someone’s gender can be hurtful, especially to members of our community who are transgender, genderqueer, or non-binary.

As a community, we are all learning together about the importance of pronouns and being better allies to the trans community on campus. We hope that you’ll join us in striving for inclusion, justice and respect—because at the University of Oregon, we welcome all.

Types of Pronouns

He, him, his: can indicate that the subject is male.

  • Tyler said he is going to Carson for brunch.
  • Andrew told me that his favorite class was history.
  • We shouldn't go to the meeting without him.

She, her, hers: can indicate that the subject is female.

  • Monica called me to say that she is signing up for the LGBTQ Cohort.
  • Sarah left her bag at home.
  • That pen is hers.

They, them, theirs: does not indicate the subject’s gender. Functions as both a singular and plural pronoun.

  • Taylor doesn’t want to go to the movie because they think it’ll be scary.
  • Carl is studying abroad soon. I'm so excited for them!
  • Tonight I'm going to their perfomance.

Ze, hir, hirs: does not indicate the subject’s gender. Pronounced zee, here and heres.

  • Ze is meeting us before we walk to Autzen Stadium.
  • I heard hir singing at the Open Mic in Common Grounds.
  • I think that burrito is hirs.

Co, co, cos: does not indicate the subject’s gender. Pronounced coh.

  • Jesse is going to be my roommate in Gender Inclusive Housing. Co is bringing a mini-fridge.
  • Did you wish co a "happy birthday" yet?
  • I just got back from cos room in Global Scholars Hall.

Per, per, pers: does not indicate the subject’s gender. Pronounced as it looks.

  • Per is going to Portland for the weekend.
  • We asked per to be the officiant at our wedding after the recent SCOTUS decision.
  • I left my phone in per room.

Someone may also just wanted to be referred to only by their name.

  • Jacob went back to Jacob’s house after the party. Jacob said that Jacob wanted to leave, because Jacob’s roommate needed to get inside their house.

Having Conversations

Starting a dialogue about the importance of pronouns can be informative and powerful. Here are a few quick, one-sentence explanations you can use to explain why it's important to share pronouns!

  • I share mine because I don’t want anyone to feel unsafe or unwelcome and I think this helps.
  • I think that sharing my pronouns helps everyone feel included and respected.
  • If we just asked trans people to share them, it would be weird. 
  • Sharing my pronouns helps make my workspace more welcoming to Ducks of all genders.
  • I want to make sure that everyone gets my name and pronouns right every time.
  • I want to make sure I get everyone else’s name and pronouns right, too!
  • Hooray! I’ve been waiting all day for someone to ask! I share my pronouns because I think it will change the world.
  • I think it’s more respectful not to assume someone’s gender based on how I think they look. I’m sharing mine so that you won’t have to assume either!
  • I share mine because I am an active ally.
  • I share mine because I am so proud to be trans, and having the chance to share my pronouns at work is phenomenal!
  • I really appreciate that you asked! I share them because I think this helps to create a more positive environment for all the Ducks that live, work, visit and learn here at the University of Oregon.
  • Oh, I share my pronouns so that people have the chance to remember that assumptions about gender hurt us all.
  • Because I always want to fight prejudice against transgender, genderqueer, and non-binary people whenever and wherever I can.
  • I believe in radical acceptance and unconditional love.
  • Thanks for asking! I share my pronouns because UO is one of the top ten trans-friendly universities in the nation! Isn’t that fantastic? Our school is the best!

If you want to incorporate gender pronoun use into an upcoming meeting or training, feel free to download our All About Pronouns sheet featuring explanations, examples, and talking points.

Pronoun Ribbons

If you are a student, staff or faculty member wishing to receive a pronoun ribbon for your nametag, please e-mail pronouns@uoregon.edu.

Learning More

Want to learn more about being an ally to the trans community? Sign up for a training with the Queer Ally Coalition!