Not offering pronouns implies that other folks should either intuit or know your gender simply from your expression. While many folks’ gender expression does reflect their gender identity, not everyone’s does.

Sharing pronouns not only dismantles the idea that gender expression always equals gender identity, but also creates a safe space for trans and gender nonconforming folks to share our pronouns and be gendered correctly, too.

“But I look like a boy, so why do I have to share my pronouns? People know I’m a boy when they see me.”

Statements like these imply that gender expression (i.e. how one dresses, acts, looks, etc.) equal gender identity (how someone identifies). This is false.

Gender expression ≠ gender identity.

Consider this: No one goes around assuming every person who “looks male” is named Matthew. That is, we don’t walk up to every masculine-presenting-person and say, “Hi, Matthew!” unless we know their name is Matthew. We usually ask, “What’s your name?” This should be the same with pronouns.

Let’s dismantle the assumption that everyone “looks” like their pronouns because not only are looks subjective, but depending on looks also implies that looks always equal gender identity which is not true.

NOTE: If you’re trans or nonbinary and not out or don’t know your pronouns or are just not comfortable sharing them, that’s absolutely okay. Take your time figuring this out. This post is mainly aimed at cis folks who absolutely should share and help normalize sharing pronouns in daily interactions.