Health and Wellbeing
10 ways to step up as an ally to non-binary people
There are many ways to be inclusive of everyone, regardless of their gender identity. Our language and the way we speak is often embedded with hidden gendered cues.
Once we start to notice them, we can move towards using language that’s inclusive for all. Here are 10 tips you can start using right away!
Introduce yourself with your name and pronouns. Stating your pronouns reminds people that it might not always be immediately obvious what pronouns someone uses
Put your pronouns in your email signature or social media profile
Instead of addressing groups of people with binary language such as ‘ladies and gentlemen', try more inclusive alternatives such as ‘folks’, ‘pals’ or ‘everyone’
Use words that define the relationship instead of the relationship and gender. For example, use ‘parents’, ‘partner’, ‘children’ or ‘siblings’
Not everyone is comfortable with gendered titles such as ‘Ms’ or ‘Mr’. Titles are not always necessary, but if they must be used it’s good to provide alternative ones such as ‘Mx’ (pronounced mix or mux)
Use the singular ‘their’ instead of ‘his/her’ in letters and other forms of writing, i.e. ‘when a colleague finishes their work’ as opposed to ‘when a colleague finishes his/her work’
Not everyone necessarily uses ‘he’ or ‘she’ pronouns and it’s important to be respectful of people who use different pronouns. The most common gender-neutral pronoun is the singular ‘they’ (they/them/theirs). Using people’s correct pronouns shows that you respect them and who they are
Using the pronoun ‘they’ is very useful when someone’s gender or identity is unknown. You will often already be using it without realising, i.e. ‘somebody left their hat, I wonder if they will come back to get it’
Make sure that your workplace, school and college policies and documents use inclusive language, i.e. using ‘they’ instead of ‘he/she’ and avoiding sentences that imply two genders. Where specifically talking about gender identity, make sure it is inclusive of non-binary gender identities and not just trans men and trans women
When highlighting LGBTQ+ people in your events or as role models, make sure you include some non-binary role models too
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