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Breaking The Elephant in the Room; Are Gender Identity and Pronouns The Same?

There’s no real need to delay what you’ve come here to know; it’s best to know early on if you’ve been handling things the wrong way. While gender identity and pronouns may be closely correlated terms and often gravitate towards identifying an individual in society, they’re not the same.

There’s a difference between both concepts; gender identity and gender pronouns. Of course, it may sound quite confusing for anyone who’s been using them interchangeably, but do not worry; we will sort that out in this article.

Meaning of Gender Identity

Gender identity is one’s personal sense of their gender; it can be male, female, both, or none. The gender identity a person considers themselves as can either be correlated to their assigned sex from birth or choose to identify with something else entirely.

Robert J. Stoller first explained the concept of gender identity in 1964 and later became popular through the involvement of John Money. It is reasonable to understand gender identity as a self-defined attribute rather than something with binary options “Man and Woman.”

Meaning of Gender Pronouns

Gender pronouns or as many may also call it, Personal gender pronouns (PGP), are a set of pronouns that an individual wants other people to address to reflect their correct gender identity. Safe to say, gender pronouns are best used to respect someone’s specific gender identity.

It’s not enough to assume someone’s gender identity based on the physical features you see in the person. Rather, it’s appropriate to ask and know the correct gender identity so you can use the correct gender pronoun.

What Else You Need to Know

There’s a distinction between a person’s gender identity and their PGPs. Although the concepts of PGPs can be used to address better people based on their selected gender, we shouldn’t at any instant confuse the meaning of both or misuse their purpose.

With this enlightenment, let’s take a lot at some personal gender pronouns, with contrast to their binary examples;

  • He/She ― zie, sie, ey, ve, tey, e

  • Him/Her ― zim, sie, em, ver, ter, em

  • His/Her ― zir, hir, eir, vis, tem, eir

  • His/Hers― zis, hirs, eirs, vers, teres, eirs

  • Himself/Herself ―zirself, hirself, eirself, verself, terself, emself

The Next Step

If you’ve been referring to a friend, colleague, or any person in general with the wrong gender pronoun, don’t worry, it’s never too late to correct things.

First, you need to understand that using the right pronouns when referring to people shows a sign of respect, which is way better than assuming they belong to a binary gender and guessing what you feel best fits.

Next, you begin to ask them politely their specific gender pronoun. I’m sure anyone who’s politely asked such a question won’t hesitate to give you feedback.

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