What are your preferred pronouns?

Within the next few weeks, we will be making a small change that we believe will help make our community more inclusive and welcoming to all.  We will offer preferred pronoun labels at the welcome table to everyone who attends our liturgies.  These can easily be worn next to your name label.
 
Some may wonder why we are doing this.  For many, the question of which pronouns we prefer may seem obvious or even silly.  But this is not the case for everyone, particularly people who may identify as transgender, intersex, or non-binary.
 
The number of our transgender, intersex, or non-binary members may be small at present.  But we never know who will walk through our doors, and decide to stay because of the welcome they receive.  Preferred pronoun labels have become an important sign of welcome and respect for people who identify as transgender, intersex, or non-binary.  Similarly, many of us can recall how meaningful it was when the words “gay,” “lesbian,” and “bisexual” began to be widely used in public.
 
Preferred pronoun labels were used at the DignityUSA national conference last summer, as well as at recent conferences held by Call to Action and our sibling progressive Catholic organizations.  Preferred pronouns are now also routinely used by other LGBTQI organizations like the LGBTQ Center, GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National LGBTQ Task Force.
 
By offering the labels to everyone, we take the burden of pronoun identification off particular individuals.  We also make social interaction easier and more comfortable for everyone, since there will be no question about which pronouns to use.
 
Using the preferred pronoun labels is voluntary, of course, but we hope that you will want to use them as a symbol of welcome, respect, and growing awareness of the diversity of God’s beautiful creation.
 
The Steering Committee of Dignity/New York