Spent some of today unpacking to myself why sharing pronouns is not necessarily beneficial to the very people whom it is meant to above all serve. For example:

— it can put pressure on ppl who can’t be “out” about their gender identity to use the wrong pronouns

— some gender-questioning ppl may be unsure re: their pronouns, & don’t want to be put on the spot with an invitation to share their pronouns

— some trans ppl whose pronouns seemingly align with their appearance can feel that sharing their pronouns erases their trans status

— some people simply have a fraught relationship with pronouns, and find it hard to engage with a pronoun-sharing process.

Even making it optional to share pronouns can create group pressures around deciding whether to opt in or opt out. 3/
Yet the practice of pronoun-sharing has become routine at some events (e.g. Zoom seminars I've attended) where the chances are virtually zero that 3rd-person references requiring gendered pronouns will be required. 4/
At such events, where people could just as easily refer to someone using the name they've used to introduce themselves, I have therefore more than once asked myself: so who does this practice come to serve? 5/
Who is being seen, who is being stared at, and who wants to be seen conspicuously "showing solidarity"? Will the end result actually create solidarity?

I'm not making a blanket recommendation of "Don't institute the sharing of pronouns".... 6/
But let's not assume that pronoun-sharing is necessarily beneficial for those who are supposed to above all benefit from this practice.

Event facilitators: be judicious about inviting people to share pronouns, factoring in the circumstances at hand. /Fin.

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