Be a Good Human

But did you get my Friends reference???

P.S. Can you have a prescript, as opposed to a postscript? Either way, I’m doing it. It’s  
been a while since I posted, I know. I’ve been in a really weird place. My mental health has
overall been pretty good, though I’ve also been depressed – but it’s a weird kind of depressed
where I’m typically in a good mood, but I also want to sleep constantly and often fantasize
about getting hit by a bus - not because I’m suicidal or in a bad place. No, just so I have an
excuse to stay in bed for a few weeks. I guess my brain has been avoiding thinking about the
deeper cause, so I’ve been avoiding writing. I’ll make it a point to try harder.

And now, on with the show!

Hello, and welcome to the tour you never knew you needed about pronouns, queerness, and anxiety.
Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle during the ride, note the lack of exits, and make
yourself comfortable, because this is a long ride. Is that “Hotel California” playing in the background??
To recap, I am an advisor for the LGBTQ+ club at the college I work for. Ensuring human rights and
inclusivity for LGBTQ+ people has become a serious passion of mine. Honestly, it’s kind of dumb that
I even have to say that, because WE’RE ALL HUMAN! But alas, the human race is still full of bigots
and jerks, so we must continue harping on this topic.

Along with being an advisor for the club, I am also on a committee that was formed to improve the
college experience for the LGBTQ+ students. I’m pretty darn proud of the work we’ve been doing! I
recently learned of an eLearn course a fellow administrative assistant put together for the faculty of
one of our departments. I took the short online course and WOW, was I impressed!
The course focused on using the correct pronouns for non-binary or transgender folk. I’ve seen a lot
of people express how unnecessary they think this is. Imagine with me, if you will, that people were
always referring to you by the wrong gender or name. It would really start to mess with your head
after a while!
I constantly misgender my cat, Shimmer. He’s so very pretty. I adopted him from a friend whose
four-year-old named him after a cartoon fairy. He is a beautiful Siamese with blue eyes, and I
constantly refer to him as she/her. When I realize I've messed up (usually when my children point it
out) I quickly say “Fuck! Him, HIM!”

I correct myself. Yes, I also say fuck a lot, which maybe isn’t great. But the important thing is, I
correct myself.

Picture of pretty Shimmer in a pretty box for cat tax 

If I can correct myself when just referring to my cat, anyone can correct themselves when referring to
a student, coworker, friend, or relative. Sure, sometimes you slip up and use the wrong pronoun.
That’s understandable. As long as you apologize and correct yourself, it’s typically not a big deal. I’ve
done it to a few humans as well as my cat, and every time I have apologized, corrected myself, and
moved on.
Back to the pronouns course!
One section of the course directed you an article titled
Why I Put Pronouns on my Email Signature and LinkedIn Profile and You Should Too. (I linked it
there, for your viewing pleasure.) It discusses why you should put your preferred pronouns on your
email signature, and even on your LinkedIn profile, regardless of your orientation. I immediately
added my pronouns to both (I had been meaning to add it to my email signature for a while anyway)
and then I found myself being hesitant about adding it to my work email. There are some people in
my department who I know don’t agree with my views. What if they think less of me when they see my
signature? What if they think I’m being silly? What if they think it’s stupid? What if they confront me
about it and I do a terrible job of explaining why I have it because I'm an anxious mess?!
Then I straightened up.
So what if they do?!
The thing that prompted me to come out was the knowledge that people are more likely to be
accepting if they know someone in the LGBT community. If me coming out helps people to be more
accepting, more inclusive of others, then that’s what I knew I had to do. In keeping up with that
thought, I have to put my preferred pronouns out there. If us cis folk (cis means you identify as the
sex you were born as) normalize putting our pronouns in our email signatures, so trans and
non-binary folk feel comfortable doing it, then maybe they’ll worry a little less about being misgendered
in emails. I say that’s worth it.
So add your pronouns to your email signatures, use the pronouns people prefer, and try to be a
good human. It’s really not that hard.

P.S. (Postscript this time) I promise to post again soon, and not continue to be an absentee blogger.


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