‘My Pronouns Are...” Buttons Instruct Strangers How To Address People Per Their Preferred Gender
"Each person has the right to identify their own pronouns, and we encourage you to ask before assuming someone's gender.”
Employees at the University of Kansas are letting you know what you can call them by pinning the suggestions right on their chest.
The libraries located on campus have taken a bold step towards removing the guesswork and uncertainty regarding gender fluidity and identity with the introduction of buttons instructing how to refer to the person wearing them. In an age where gender fluidity is not only becoming more prevalent but also recognized, the library employees at the school have started wearing buttons that state, “My pronouns are...” followed by words that they most closely associate with their gender identity.
The buttons aren’t required by the workplace, but rather are made available to both employees and interested students. Says Rebecca Smith, the KU Libraries director of communications and advancement, “We’ve told all of our front-line employees, if a student asks, give them a button.”
Signs at the libraries state:
"Because gender is, itself, fluid and up to the individual. Each person has the right to identify their own pronouns, and we encourage you to ask before assuming someone's gender. Pronouns matter! Misgendering someone can have lasting consequences, and using the incorrect pronoun can be hurtful, disrespectful, and invalidate someone's identity."
The accessories and initiative are part of the larger “You Belong Here” campaign for undergrads which aims to create an environment of inclusion for the school’s diverse array of students, including those who identify as gender fluid. The campaign provides signs showing the location of “gender-inclusive” restrooms in the library, as well as directions to reflection rooms and lactation stations, according to the Lawrence Journal-World.