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Using gender-inclusive languageUUsing gender-inclusive languageUsing gender-inclusive languageEnglishAdolescentTeen (13-18 years)NANASupport, services and resourcesTeen (13-18 years)NA2021-06-21T04:00:00Z7.5000000000000063.4000000000000926.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>No matter how others identify, it is important to respect the words people use to describe themselves. Learn tips about how to be more gender-inclusive and use gender-neutral language.</p><p>No matter how others identify, it is important to respect the words people use to describe themselves. How someone is addressed can make a big difference in making them feel welcome. It may take some extra thinking and practice, but using gender-inclusive language can be helpful to make everyone you meet feel heard and avoid mistakes made when making assumptions.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Gender-inclusive language is language that either respects a person’s preferred terms or does not favour a particular sex.</li><li>Language that respects a person’s preferred terms includes the name and pronouns that they use to describe themselves.</li><li>Language that does not favour a particular sex includes gender-neutral terms like they, them, person, individual, patient, family member, parent, partner, sibling, etc.</li><li>Pronouns are words that are used as a substitute for a person’s name when talking about them in the third person. Pronouns can be gender specific (e.g., she/he) or gender neutral (e.g., they).</li><li>If you make a mistake about a person’s name, terms or pronouns, it can be helpful to apologize, correct yourself, and move on.</li></ul><h2>References</h2><p>Guidelines for gender-inclusive language in English. <em>United Nations</em>. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.un.org/en/gender-inclusive-language/guidelines.shtml">https://www.un.org/en/gender-inclusive-language/guidelines.shtml</a>.</p><p>Gender inclusive language: Building relationships with new clients. <em>Trans Care BC</em>. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.phsa.ca/transcarebc/Documents/HealthProf/Gender_Inclusive_Language_General.pdf">http://www.phsa.ca/transcarebc/Documents/HealthProf/Gender_Inclusive_Language_General.pdf</a>.</p><p>Making mistakes and correcting them. <em>Trans Care BC</em>. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.phsa.ca/transcarebc/Documents/HealthProf/Making_Mistakes.pdf">http://www.phsa.ca/transcarebc/Documents/HealthProf/Making_Mistakes.pdf</a>.</p><p>Transgender Identities. <em>Planned Parenthood</em>. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/gender-identity/transgender">https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/gender-identity/transgender</a>.</p>

 

 

 

 

Using gender-inclusive language3963.00000000000Using gender-inclusive languageUsing gender-inclusive languageUEnglishAdolescentTeen (13-18 years)NANASupport, services and resourcesTeen (13-18 years)NA2021-06-21T04:00:00Z7.5000000000000063.4000000000000926.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>No matter how others identify, it is important to respect the words people use to describe themselves. Learn tips about how to be more gender-inclusive and use gender-neutral language.</p><p>No matter how others identify, it is important to respect the words people use to describe themselves. How someone is addressed can make a big difference in making them feel welcome. It may take some extra thinking and practice, but using gender-inclusive language can be helpful to make everyone you meet feel heard and avoid mistakes made when making assumptions.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Gender-inclusive language is language that either respects a person’s preferred terms or does not favour a particular sex.</li><li>Language that respects a person’s preferred terms includes the name and pronouns that they use to describe themselves.</li><li>Language that does not favour a particular sex includes gender-neutral terms like they, them, person, individual, patient, family member, parent, partner, sibling, etc.</li><li>Pronouns are words that are used as a substitute for a person’s name when talking about them in the third person. Pronouns can be gender specific (e.g., she/he) or gender neutral (e.g., they).</li><li>If you make a mistake about a person’s name, terms or pronouns, it can be helpful to apologize, correct yourself, and move on.</li></ul><h2>What is gender-inclusive language?</h2><p>Gender-inclusive language is language that either respects a person’s preferred terms or does not favour a particular sex.</p><p>Language that respects a person’s preferred terms includes the name and pronouns that they use to describe themselves. If you know how someone wishes to be addressed, or if you ask them what terms they prefer, you should use those terms provided. For example:</p><ul><li>Sandra is a good friend of yours who has told you that she prefers to be called <strong>Sandy</strong> and referred to as <strong>she/her</strong>.</li></ul><p>Language that does not favour a particular sex includes gender-neutral terms. If you don’t know how someone wishes to be addressed and are not comfortable asking, you should default to gender-neutral terms. For example:</p><ul><li>You have just met Quinn via email, so you refer to them as <strong>they/them</strong> until you ask for their preferred pronouns or get to know them better.</li></ul><h3>Pronouns</h3><p>When used to describe people, pronouns are words that are used as a substitute for a person’s name. Pronouns are typically used in the third-person point of view, when you are talking about other people or other people are talking about you. For example:</p><ul><li>Kelly used <strong>her</strong> allowance money to buy <strong>herself</strong> some new shoes.</li><li>Tim works at the grocery store. <strong>He</strong> is my favourite cashier!</li><li>Charlie loves to play basketball with <strong>their</strong> friends after school.</li></ul><p>Pronouns can be gender specific (e.g., she/he, her/him, hers/his, herself/himself) or gender neutral (e.g., they, them, their, themselves) when referring to individuals. There are many other gender-neutral pronouns that include (but are not limited to) ze/zir/zirself, xie/hir/hirself, xe/xem/xyr/xemself.</p><h3>Gender-neutral language</h3><p>It is always helpful to use the singular <strong>they</strong> when you are unsure of what pronouns to use to avoid pronoun mistakes. However, there are other gender-neutral terms that can help you with being gender-inclusive. Below is a brief list of titles and terms that are considered gender-neutral:</p><table class="akh-table"><thead><tr><th>Gender-neutral title/term</th><th>Instead of…</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Applicant</td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Child</td><td>Daughter/son</td></tr><tr><td>Client</td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Employee</td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Family member</td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Flight attendant</td><td>Stewardess/steward</td></tr><tr><td>Grandchild</td><td>Granddaughter/grandson</td></tr><tr><td>Grandparent</td><td>Grandmother/grandfather</td></tr><tr><td>Group member</td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Health-care provider</td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Individual</td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Mx</td><td>Ms/Mrs/Mr</td></tr><tr><td>Nibling</td><td>Niece/nephew</td></tr><tr><td>Parent or guardian</td><td>Mother/father</td></tr><tr><td>Patient</td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Person</td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Police officer</td><td>Policeman</td></tr><tr><td>Postal worker</td><td>Mailman</td></tr><tr><td>Sibling</td><td>Sister/brother</td></tr><tr><td>Significant other</td><td>Girlfriend/boyfriend</td></tr><tr><td>Spouse or partner</td><td>Wife/husband</td></tr><tr><td>Student</td><td></td></tr></tbody></table><h2>What if I make a mistake?</h2><p>Most people try their best to treat others with respect, but sometimes we make mistakes when referring to other people’s names, terms or pronouns. It’s important to remember that mistakes happen to all of us, and it is how we move past the mistakes that really counts. In these situations, it can be helpful to apologize, correct yourself, and move on.</p><h3>Apologize</h3><p>You might recognize your mistake or the person you are talking to might point it out. Regardless of how the mistake is identified, you should acknowledge it and say that you are sorry.</p><p>Example:</p><div class="callout2"><p>Carrie: “I was talking to Carmen today, and she said she wanted to go to the mall after school.”</p><p>Michael: “Carmen identifies as non-binary. They don’t use <strong>she/her</strong> pronouns.”</p><p>Carrie: “Oh! I’m sorry. I didn’t realize.”</p></div><h3>Correct yourself</h3><p>In addition to apologizing, you should also correct your mistake. If you know how you slipped-up, go ahead and proceed with what you meant to say. If you are unsure about how you might have made a mistake, it is okay to politely ask for the correct name, term or pronoun.</p><p>Example:</p><div class="callout2"><p>Carrie: “What pronouns does Carmen prefer?”</p><p>Michael: “They told me that they use <strong>they/them</strong> pronouns.”</p><p>Carrie: “Oh, I see. I was talking to them today, and they said they wanted to go to the mall after school.”</p></div><h3>Move on</h3><p>Once you have corrected yourself, it is helpful not to dwell on your mistake. The person you are talking to might accept your apology, and they also might not. Their forgiveness is not mandatory, but you can always learn from the encounter and use it moving forward to avoid future mistakes.</p><p>Example:</p><div class="callout2"><p>Michael: “That’s okay. I’m sure Carmen would understand. Just be sure to use the correct pronouns going forward.”</p><p>Carrie: “I will. Thanks for letting me know!”</p></div><h2>References</h2><p>Guidelines for gender-inclusive language in English. <em>United Nations</em>. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.un.org/en/gender-inclusive-language/guidelines.shtml">https://www.un.org/en/gender-inclusive-language/guidelines.shtml</a>.</p><p>Gender inclusive language: Building relationships with new clients. <em>Trans Care BC</em>. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.phsa.ca/transcarebc/Documents/HealthProf/Gender_Inclusive_Language_General.pdf">http://www.phsa.ca/transcarebc/Documents/HealthProf/Gender_Inclusive_Language_General.pdf</a>.</p><p>Making mistakes and correcting them. <em>Trans Care BC</em>. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.phsa.ca/transcarebc/Documents/HealthProf/Making_Mistakes.pdf">http://www.phsa.ca/transcarebc/Documents/HealthProf/Making_Mistakes.pdf</a>.</p><p>Transgender Identities. <em>Planned Parenthood</em>. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/gender-identity/transgender">https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/gender-identity/transgender</a>.</p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/portrait%20of%20a%20non-binary%20teen%20at%20home.jpg