UCI LGBT Resource Center

Resources to Support Transgender and Nonbinary Identities

Pronoun Usage

What is a Pronoun?

A pronoun is a word used in place of someone's name.
Example: "Peter the Anteater is here! He is ready to cheer!"

Why are Pronouns important?

  1. No matter your gender identity, gender can be very important to someone's sense of self.
  2. It is very important to know that you cannot visually tell if someone's gender.
  3. Asking for pronouns can prevent emotional distress from happening, and sets an example of respect.

How do you know what pronouns to use?

  1. Simpliest way is to ask when you are introducing yourself
    Example: "My name is Scotty, and I use they/them pronouns. What about you?"
  2. When leading a large group, such as an organization, committee, or classroom. Have everyone introduce themselves with names and pronouns to vreate a respectful and validating space.
  3. You can also put your pronouns in your email signatures, which can help continue to create a culture of respect.

What should you do if you make a Mistake?

  1. Most people appreciate a quick apology and coreection. Try not to draw more attention to your mistake.
    Example: "She like - I'm sorry - They like that show as well."
  2. Do not address people by pronouns or names that they do not use, even if the person used the names or pronouns in the past.
  3. Do not make excuses, as it can frustrate and invalidate others. Apologize, correct yourself, and do your best to use correct pronouns from then on.

Examples of Pronouns and their utilization

He Knows | I'll Ask Him | That Is His

She Knows | I'll Ask Her | That Is Hers

They Know | I'll Ask Them | That Is Theirs

Ze Knows | I'll Ask Zir | that Is Zirs

Tools to Practice Pronouns

UCI OIT Inclusive Language Guide

Click here for link to Inclusive Language Guide

Check out the website Minus18,  and their game to help learn to use pronouns!

Click here for a link to the Pronouns Game tool

Click her for a link to the Minus18 webpage

Section 3

Other Resources

According to The Trevor Project's 2020 National Survey, 1 in 4 youth (ages 13-24) go by pronouns other than he/him or she/her. For transgender and nonbinary youth, being referred to by the correct name and pronouns is a simple gesture of support.


In honor of Coming Out Day, BestColleges.com created a pronouns guide. Our guide covers why it is important to use personal pronouns, using gender pronouns for equity and inclusion, and educational resources. Take a look below: