Diversity Week Shows Importance of Pronouns, Respecting Them

“Hello! My Pronouns are…” gave students the opportunity to understand how pronouns and gender identities impact different people, as well as the reason they should be respected.

LGBTUA now meets virtually on Tuesdays due to the pandemic.

Megan Parker

LGBTUA now meets virtually on Tuesdays due to the pandemic.

By Megan Parker, Copy Editor

The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Union of Akron and Campus Programs sponsored “Hello! My Pronouns are…” on Wednesday, Sept. 19, to help students understand different gender identities and the importance of respecting pronouns.

Megan Parker
The buttons offered during the event feature different pronouns used by people within the LGBTQ+ community.

This event was one of several planned during Diversity Week to celebrate and increase awareness of the differences within the campus community, both visible and non-visible.

Claire DeBruin, the student assistant to Campus Programs, said the main goal of this event was to help students get past the confusion around pronouns and understand the impact pronouns have on a person.

“We’re just trying to open the conversation and start to make it easier for people to ask those questions out of respect for each other and not in a negative way,” DeBruin said.

Claire Slattery, President of LGBTUA, and Jillian Phipps, secretary of LGBTUA, attended the event in order to help with any questions students had in regards to gender identities and pronouns.

Megan Parker
Secretary Jillian Phipps (left) and President Claire Slattery of LGBTUA wait for students to arrive at “Hello! My Pronouns are…”

People who are comfortable identifying with the gender they were assigned at birth do not always understand how important pronouns are to those who identify differently from their assigned gender, Slattery said.

Some students stopped by the event to grab one of the limited pronoun pins offered. Others attended to clear up confusion regarding the definitions behind certain identities.

“My roommate is non-binary and I really don’t understand a lot of that. So I was just trying to learn more,” said freshman Chrissy Carlson.

Freshman Jacob Croskey said he did not know several of the gender identities within the LGBTQ+ community, but had learned a lot from asking questions at the event.

“It’s really helpful just to ask someone and find out,” Croskey said.

Megan Parker
Claire Slattery (left), President of LGBTUA, helps freshmen Chrissy Carlson (center) and Jacob Croskey understand the different pronouns and gender identities within the LGBTQ+ community.

Although asking questions can sometimes seem difficult, if a person doesn’t know what another’s preferred pronouns are or what their gender identity is, they should ask politely, DeBruin said.

“Pronouns are very important so definitely ask, but make sure you are respectful when you ask so that you can move forward and do what each person prefers,” DeBruin said.