Why people on social media put pronouns in their bio?






The past year has brought quite a realisation for a lot of people. I am sure you have seen many people with their pronouns like she/her, he/him or they/them in their bio on Instagram handle or twitter, and you might wonder why is it necessary.

In English, the most common used pronouns (he/she) specifically refer to a person’s gender. But one must needs to be aware that there are more than two genders. Traditionally, we are made to believe that there are only two genders, male and female; but that's not true. According to World Health Organization, 

"Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed. This includes norms, behaviours and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl or boy, as well as relationships with each other. Gender interacts with but is different from sex, which refers to the different biological and physiological characteristics of females, males and intersex persons, such as chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs."

Photograph: The Source

In simpler terms, the belief that gender is only man or a woman, is a social construct. Your sex is determined by biology whereas gender is socially construed. Just because someone is born with a penis doesn't mean they are a man or just because someone has a vagina it doesn't mean they are a woman. Gender is the expression of how one identify themselves as. Some children become aware at a very young age that their gender identity does not align with their physical sex characteristics, even expressing the disconnect as soon as they can talk. Other transgender and gender-expansive people recognize their gender identity during adolescence or adulthood. 

Photograph: LA Johnson/NPR

Assuming people’s gender by their appearance is wrong and only perpetuates harmful stereotypes and transphobic rhetoric. For queer, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and transgender people, he/she pronouns may not fit, they can create discomfort, and can cause stress and anxiety. There is no one way to look or be cisgender or to look or be transgender. If cis people will start asking for someone's pronouns before referring to them, it helps normalise the act of sharing pronouns of LGBT+ community as well. It is done so as no one can be misgendered. Using pronouns is a key element of being an LGBT+ ally and is something that is effortless to do for cis-people but means the world to LGBT+ community. Therefore, putting pronouns in bio and asking someone's pronouns is an act of allyship to LGBT+ community!

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