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Pronouns at UMass

Our UMMS vision is to be a leading-edge medical school of the future by embracing the full richness of diverse people, perspectives, and experiences, and enabling all members of our academic community to thrive in a welcoming and inclusive environment; Educating resilient, agile, and culturally competent clinicians, scientists, and educators who are optimally prepared to lead and succeed in their evolving professional environments of the future... 

Pronouns are part of our identity. Some people use gendered pronouns like he/him or she/her and other pronouns signify that you are not comfortable with the binary choices of male and female. Some people choose to only use their name and no pronouns. It is respectful to hear a person's pronouns and to use them as you would their name. If a person tells you they do not use pronouns it is important to respect them as well by only using their name.

HOW DO I KNOW WHICH PRONOUNS TO USE?

You can introduce yourself with your first name and pronoun series, you can add your pronouns to your signature, you can add your pronouns to the zoom identification, you can ask others to do the same as a way to show that you understand that respecting pronouns is now a part of a healthy work environment and that you could be an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community!

NEVER GUESS A PRONOUN/GENDER

Never guess someone's pronouns, because you may not make a correct assumption. Massachusetts recognizes the gender diversity that we have at UMass by allowing three gender designations. Male (M), Female (F), and Gender-Fluid/Non-Binary or Intersex (X).

How do I know someone's pronouns? Or if they are genderfluid?  The only way is if they tell you. The easiest way is to look at their email signature. If they have their pronouns in their signature, there is a good chance they understand something about gender diversity. If you introduce yourself with your own pronouns, people are more likely to do the same so you don't have to ask. If you do feel the need to ask, be respectful. Say, "My pronouns are (She/Her/Hers). I'd like to be respectful, are you comfortable sharing your pronouns?" In new environments, some people may not be comfortable expressing their pronouns and indeed some people do not prefer to use pronouns. Once you know, be respectful and use them. 

What if I am a person who is genderfluid or transgender, how will I know it is safe to come out to my team? The easiest way is to look at their email signature. If they have their pronouns in their signature, there is a good chance they understand something about gender diversity. If you have any questions, or if you are an employee or learner and you would like to come out, the Diversity Office can help make it easier for you (Including name changes, how to talk with your supervisor, etc.) contact the Diversity and Inclusion Office or Jules Trobaugh, MFA  jules.trobaugh@umassmed.edu 508-856-2179 or visit S1-710 (University Campus).

GLSEN has created a nice, but simple guide to talking about your pronouns and why that might be important in your education as well as your work life. Learners, staff, and faculty have all created an email signature that simply lets others know what pronouns are appropriate for them. Some have even put a link in their signature to the following resource so that others would understand why they are a really good idea, especially if you want to support our trans and gender-fluid friends and colleagues. Do you have another resource? Let us know!
https://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/GLSEN%20Pronouns%20Resource.pdf