Many thanks to Dia Kayyali for helping the IFF by providing knowledge and advice, and helping prepare the following material. You can find Dia here!
This year we are asking you to put your pronoun on your badge. For example, if you identify as a woman, you may put down she/her. We are doing this to make respecting gender identity easier for everyone. Not everyone identifies as a man or woman, and individuals, including but not limited to transgender people, are sometimes mistaken for a gender they are not
Your pronouns are the words people use to refer to you other than your name, like She and they: "Fatima got a new dress. Have you seen her?" A few other helpful concepts in English that you are likely to hear are trans and cis. If you hear people say cisgender, they are referring to someone who identifies with the gender that the medical establishment assigned them at birth. Transgender simply means someone who does not.
People who do not identify as men or women are commonly referred to in English as “nonbinary” or “genderqueer”. They may use the pronoun “they”. No special grammar is needed. Use this as you normally would in English: "Emme is so great, I’m glad they came to IFF."
Pronouns can tell the world what you think someone else’s gender is. For someone who is often mistaken as a gender they are not, like a trans person, or someone who does not use the more common pronouns of he and she, it is frustrating to have to explain what your pronoun is. Similarly, many cisgender people feel uncomfortable asking.
That’s why we are asking everyone to write down their pronoun. We want to make respecting gender identity normal- and easier for everyone! If only transgender people have to write their pronoun down, it gives the impression that their gender identity is abnormal.
All that being said, please remember that IFF is a global conference and not everyone has the same ideas about gender, nor do all languages have gender neutral options. Also, pronouns can be difficult in any language for a non-native speaker. Let’s respect each other as we work to get this right together!
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to either a staff member or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Webe have many volunteers that are knowledgable that would love to help you!