Pronouns Twitter Chat

January 8, 2020

6 PST/ 8 PM CST/ 9 EST

Advocacy in professional spaces with pronouns.

#TeachPride January 8, 2019

Twitter Chat Questions & Archive

WU: Welcome to our January Pronouns #TeachPride Chat. What’s your name and what is your role in education? (We welcome sharing pronouns as/if you wish.)

Q1 How are you most comfortable sharing your pronouns or asking for colleagues’ or students’ pronouns? What strategies have or could work in your spaces?

Q2 What do we ask our co-conspirators to do to continue to push the sharing, discussing, and honoring of pronouns to become more normalized?

Q3 What would you like to see your school or the institution of public education in general do to help with normalizing the sharing, discussing, and honoring pronouns? What systems need disrupted or dismantled to help this happen?

Q4 What would we like to see education/professional conferences do? How can we advocate for those changes? (We’re also going to give some updates on some of our work with this. We welcome your thoughts and would love to hear other ideas too.)

RESOURCE: shea martin, @sheathescholar, shared a thoughtful thread about pronouns and misgendering at NCTE 19 late this fall, which sparked brainstorming at EduPrideAlliance about how we could push ISTE (where we formed) and other conferences to make changes.

RESOURCE: We sent our position statement (image to the right) to ISTE in December. We are recommending that ISTE and other conferences add pronouns as an optional question during registration and print those on badges. We are asking for stickers/ribbons be readily available in the meantime.

RESOURCE: One of our members also drafted letters that can be downloaded and edited to send to other national or local conferences you attend. There’s a more formal version: and a slightly more familiar version.

Q5 Do you have any go-to resources to share with colleagues, administrators, students, etc. about pronouns? We will momentarily share out resources we have curated.

 19 DECEMBER 2019  Recommendations for Pronouns at ISTE20 ISTE 2020 Conference Committee email:   Who We Are  EduPrideAlliance is a group of educators who came together at the ISTE19 Equity Action Forum around our shared passion for advancing queer and trans equity in school. We are committed to not only connecting and supporting LGBTQ+ educators in this work but also to ensure that professional conferences intended to aid them in this work are inclusive and productive. In this vein, we feel it is in keeping with both our goals and ISTE’s diversity, equity and inclusion plan to adopt the use of pronouns at future conferences and events.   Context and Research Pronouns are both a critical part of everyday speech and an issue uniquely important to LGBTQ+ people. The pronouns we use to describe others imply assumptions about the gender of those people—for example, we’re likely to use “he/him” for people we assume to be men, and “she/her” for people we assume to be women. However, gender exists on a spectrum and there are many possible pronouns that any given person may want others to use.  What’s more, the assumptions we make are often wrong and can be harmful to those we’re addressing, regardless of intent. When the wrong pronouns are used to describe someone, inadvertently or purposefully, it sends harmful messages to the subject of that language. One example of this playing out in a conference setting is shared here by shea martin during the NCTE conference in 2019. It's equally important for those who are not regularly misgendered to practice stating our pronouns. This both normalizes the practice of stating pronouns and creates a safer environment for all attendees.  Recommendations Using someone’s correct pronouns is one of the most basic ways to respect them and to create an inclusive environment. EduPrideAlliance recommends having a pronoun space on conference badges and/or making available pronoun stickers or ribbons that can be attached to badges. Options for the badge should include he/him, she/her, they/them, ze/zir, and an option to fill in your own, and ribbons should be fill in your own. These changes will allow all people to be validated and respected and will help normalize this practice.  We respectfully request this change be made to the ISTE 2020 conference registration process and all conferences in the future.   Sincerely,  EduPrideAlliance Leadership Nancy Jo Lambert she/ her/ hers                      Sabia Prescott she/ they JoyAnn Boudreau she/ her/ hers                       Travis Cox he/ him/ his Gene Williams he/ him/ his                                   Lisa Rubini-LaForest she/ her/ hers Matt Hamilton he/ him/ his                                   Sam Long he/him/his Anthony M. Peddle he/him/his

Resources that could be helpful for ourselves or our nonbinary colleagues:

RESOURCE: Ace Schwarz, @teachingoutsidethebinary, and A. Tooley, @growingwithmxt, had a conversation about Supporting Nonbinary Educators in the Workplace in October.

RESOURCE: Talking about Pronouns in the Workplace from @HRC

RESOURCE: NBC News piece from last year about nonbinary educators embracing Mx.

Wrap Up: Thank you for joining us tonight! And feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the coming days if you missed the live chat! Join us on February 5 for a #TeachPride chat about Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Anti-Racist. We invite you to read the book alongside us.

Additional Resources

Pieces that help educate others and build inclusive classrooms.


Teaching Tolerance, @Tolerance_org, pieces on terminology and beginning ways to include non binary students:

Going further for advocacy resources: