Monday, June 12, 2017

Is My Cis Privilege Showing?

I've been thinking about my signature block when I send an email.

Yeah, I know. That sounds pretty self-involved.

But it's sort of the email equivalent of a name tag. And more and more, when I'm going to LGBTQ-inclusive, LGBTQ-sensitive events, I don't just put my name, "Lee," I'm also asked to share my personal gender pronoun (or PDP). I put He/Him/His under my name, and that's been that.

Only... I recently got an email from someone who had, after their name in the signature block, their pronouns. And I starting thinking... Should I do the same?

Given that I look like a guy, and my pronouns are the guy ones, would it just be perceived as me flaunting my cis privilege?

But as I dug deeper into why I maybe should do it, I came up with three better reasons:

1. To acknowledge there are other options besides the binary cis vision of gender.

2. To present the idea that someone who presents as a guy might not feel the "guy" pronouns works for them.

3. It's a way to for me to communicate to people living their lives outside cis-normative gender boundaries that I am their ally.

And I'm all about being an Ally.

So now, my signature block reads:

Lee Wind, M.Ed.
pronouns: he/him/his

and then the rest.

How about you? Would you consider adding your pronouns to your signature, and maybe even your social media profiles, as a sign of ally-ship for the Trans and gender non-conforming community?

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

ps: because most cis people don't know what "PGP," or personal gender pronouns, stands for, I've gone with the simpler "pronouns" followed by a colon.

pps: need a refresher on "cis" versus "trans" in regards to gender? Check out episode 4 of Gender 101.

1 comment:

uwyoalum said...

My name is Dave. I was born cis male and that is how I present.

I wondered about the pronoun statement myself since my privilege tells me I don't need to state my pronouns, but a dear, non-binary friend pointed out that by my stating my pronouns in my signature I invite others to tell me their preferred pronouns. This helps if they identify other than they present.

While I don't think I will ever be mis-gendered, I want others to know they are safe around me to ask me to refer to them/identify them however they identify.

And should you find yourself in Texas, please know that I am happy to take your hand. #takemyhandtexas