After a great topic by @Flying_Pencil about pronoun usage on the IFC, we realised that we have been a little slow in helping to normalize this on the community platform. We wanted to rectify this, and so we have added a new user field category.
This is the Pronoun field. It is available alongside the Callsign and Virtual Organization fields. This is there to allow you to highlight the pronouns you are comfortable with.
We all use pronouns in our everyday language when conversing in English, and something as common as a pronoun can have a significant effect on a person’s identity. We want to help make sure this continues to be a positive space for expressing and identifying in ways that make you comfortable and allow you to be who you are without judgement.
What are pronouns?
Some people may be more familiar than others with the idea of pronouns and their usage. There are lots of different pronouns, with some being gendered pronouns, and others being gender-neutral. The LGBT Resource Center has a great definition of each:
A pronoun is a word that refers to either the people talking (I or you) or someone or something that is being talked about (like she, it, them, and this). Gender pronouns (he/she/they/ze etc.) specifically refer to people that you are talking about.
More Information on Pronouns
Common Gender Pronouns
The most common gender pronouns you will come across are:
For example, you would say “she/he/they have made an error on their exam”. You would also say “I saw them/him/her flying a B737 to Hawaii”. These are two easy examples to show you how pronouns are one of the most common components in the English language.
Other Common Gender Pronouns
Pronouns are easy to respect. Most users are likely to use he/they/she, however, some may use other ones. The new user field will allow you to easily see this. If you are unsure, the most polite thing would be to ask unless there is good reason not to, for example, if a user’s bio says not to ask.
Misuse of Pronouns
Users who misuse pronouns in their profiles to mock, disrespect, or disregard the importance of pronouns risk having their account permissions revoked without warning. If you do not respect the use of pronouns in your personal life, please simply do not fill in the user field.
Non-native English speakers
We understand that this may be harder for non-native speakers to understand, but don’t worry! We ask that you try to respect personal pronouns to the best of your ability, and please feel comfortable asking questions to moderators, staff, or community members that are open to having these conversations. Please be aware that some users may prefer not to discuss this topic in depth.
Where can I find the new user field?
You can find this new user field by heading to your profile > settings > profile > pronouns. You are not required to fill this field in.
After inputting, your pronouns will then show on your profile and user card. An example is below: