[:en]LGBT+ Inclusion and Pronoun Pin Badges[:cy]LHDT+ Bathodynnau Cynhwysol a Rhagenwau[:]

[:en]By Cath Elms, c.l.elms@swansea.ac.uk

Swansea University Pronoun Badges on a Swansea Uni lanyard

As the university’s Equality Advisor and LGBT+ Staff Network co-chair, I specialise in LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) inclusion for staff and students at the university. My work involves providing advice and support on LGBT+ issues at work and study. I also lead on the university’s annual Stonewall Workplace Equality Index application, which is a national award dedicated to advancing LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace (we’re currently ranked as the 29th top employer in the UK, and are one of the UK’s Top 11 Trans Inclusive Employers).

LGBT+ inclusion at the university is a large remit that includes various issues such as inclusive policies and procedures, welfare and wellbeing, diversifying curriculum, training on appropriate use of language, and ensuring visibility of LGBT+ role models.

One of the specific things I’ve recently introduced at Swansea University in this area is pronoun pin badges for staff. I’ve issued these to staff to wear on their lanyards, to let others know what their pronouns are.

You can’t always know someone’s pronouns (or their gender) by looking at them. At the university, we come into contact with a wide range of staff and students on a daily basis, some of whom will be trans and genderqueer, possibly without us even knowing it. Wearing a pronoun badge is a simple but effective way of signalling that you respect people’s pronouns and their gender identity, which can mean a lot for trans and genderqueer members of staff who may feel invisible, or may be struggling with being trans at work or study.

What is a pronoun?

A personal pronoun is a type of noun used to refer to another person in place of their name. Common personal pronouns are she/her/hers, he/him/his, or they/their/theirs.

For example:

  • Sarah brought an umbrella with her.
  • Michael dropped his phone.
  • Jo was tired so they went to bed.

Usually, when people talk about pronouns, they are referring to personal pronouns. Read more: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/pronouns

What different pronouns are there?

In the English language, personal pronouns usually denote someone’s gender.

The common pronouns are:

  • She/her/hers
  • He/him/his
  • They/their/theirs
  • Ze/hir/hir

The pronouns in bold above are known as gender-neutral or gender-inclusive pronouns, as they do not associate a gender with the person using them. These pronouns may be used by people who identify as non-binary or genderqueer (these terms mean someone whose gender identity isn’t exclusively male or female), but they may also be used by people who identify as men or women.

Never refer to someone as “it” or “he-she” as these terms are hurtful and dehumanising.

Doesn’t the word “they” refer to a group of people?

Not necessarily – “they” can be used to refer to a singular person, either because you do not know their gender, because you do not want to specify any particular individual, or because this is the pronoun they identify with.

For example:

  • I have a missed call on my phone; they didn’t leave a message.
  • I feel that if someone is doing a good job, they should be rewarded.
  • Robin was running late because their car broke down.

Singular “they” is considered grammatically correct.

Why is it important to respect people’s pronouns?

You can’t always know someone’s pronouns (or their gender) by looking at them. At the university, we come into contact with a wide range of staff on a daily basis, some of whom will be trans and genderqueer, possibly without us even knowing it. Asking and correctly using someone’s pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity. When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated, or dysphoric.

How do I ask what pronouns someone uses?

Try asking: “What pronouns do you use?” or “Can you remind me what pronouns you use?” It can feel awkward at first, but it is not half as awkward as making a hurtful assumption.

If you are asking as part of an introduction exercise and you want to quickly explain what gender pronouns are, you can try something like this: “Tell us your name, where you come from, and your pronouns. That means the pronouns that you use in reference to yourself. For example, I’m John, I’m from Swansea, and I use he/him pronouns.”

What if I make a mistake?

It’s okay! Everyone slips up from time to time. The best thing to do if you use the wrong pronoun for someone is to say something right away, like “Sorry, I meant (insert pronoun)”. If you realize your mistake after the fact, apologize in private and move on.

Avoid repeatedly mentioning how bad you feel that you messed up or how hard it is for you to get it right, as this can make the person who was misgendered feel awkward and responsible for comforting you.

What if I hear someone else make a mistake?

You may hear one of your colleagues or students using the wrong pronoun for someone. In most cases, it is appropriate to gently correct them without further embarrassing the individual who has been misgendered. This means saying something like “Alex uses the pronoun she”, and then moving on.

If someone is being repeatedly misgendered, it may be appropriate to approach them in private and say something like “I noticed that you were getting referred to with the wrong pronoun earlier, and I know that that can be really hurtful. Would you be okay with me taking that person aside and reminding them about your pronouns?” They may not want you to intervene, but your considerateness will be greatly appreciated. Want your own pronoun pin badge? Contact Cath at lgbtplus@swansea.ac.uk.[:cy]Gan Cath Elms, c.l.elms@abertawe.ac.uk

Swansea University Pronoun Badges on a Swansea Uni lanyardFel Ymgynghorydd Cydraddoldeb y brifysgol a chyd-gadeirydd o Rwydwaith Staff LHDT+, rydw i’n arbenigo yng nghydraddoldeb LHDT+ (Lesbiaid, Hoyw, Deurywiol a Traws) ar gyfer staff a myfyrwyr y Brifysgol. Mae fy ngwaith i yn cynnwys rhoi cyngor a chymorth ynglŷn â phroblemau LHDT+ yn y gwaith ac wrth astudio. Rydw i hefyd yn arwain ar gais blynyddol y Brifysgol i ‘Stonewall Workplace Equality Index’, gwobr genedlaethol sydd wedi ymrwymo i fwyhau cynwysoldeb LHDT+ yn y gweithle (rydyn ni ar hyn o bryd, y 29ain o brif gyflogwyr yn y DU, ac yn un o Gyflogwyr Traws-Gynhwysol 11 uchaf y DU.)

Mae cynwysoldeb LHDT+ yn y brifysgol yn dasg enfawr sy’n cynnwys amrywiaeth o faterion megis polisïau a gweithdrefnau cynhwysol, lles, amrywiaethu cwricwlwm, hyfforddiant ar ddefnyddio iaith briodol a sicrhau bod hyrwyddwyr LHDT+ yn weledig.

Un o’r pethau sbesiffig rydw i wedi cyflwyno’n ddiweddar ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe yw’r defnydd o fathodynnau rhagenwau ar gyfer staff. Rydw i wedi gwneud y rhain ar gael i staff i wisgo ar eu llinynnau fel bod pobl arall yn gwybod beth yw eu rhagenwau.

Nid ydych wastad yn gallu adnabod rhagenwau rhywun (na’u rhyw) wrth edrych arnynt. Yn y brifysgol, rydym yn cysylltu ag amrywiaeth o staff a myfyrwyr yn ddyddiol, rhai sydd yn draws ac yn genderqueer, efallai heb wybod. Mae gwisgo bathodyn rhagenwau yn ffordd syml ond effeithiol i ddangos parch tuag at ragenwau pobl a’u hunaniaeth rhyw. Mae hyn yn golygu llawer i aelodau o staff traws a genderqueer sydd efallai yn teimlo’n anweledig neu’n ffeindio’n anodd gyda bod yn draws yn y gwaith neu wrth astudio.

Beth yw rhagenw?

Rhagenw personol yw math o enw sy’n cael eu defnyddio i gyfeirio at berson arall yn lle eu henw. Rhagenwau personol cyffredin yw hi, fe/ef neu nhw/eu/hwy.

Er enghraifft:

  • Daeth Sarah a’i ymbarél gyda
  • Gollyngodd Michael ei ffon ef.
  • Roedd Jo yn flinedig felly aethon nhw i’r gwely.

Fel arfer pan mae pobl yn siarad am ragenwau, maent yn cyfeirio tuag at ragenwau personol. Darllenwch ragor yma: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/pronouns

Pa wahanol ragenwau sydd i gael?

Yn yr iaith Saesneg, mae rhagenwau personol fel arfer yn dynodi rhyw rywun. Y rhagenwau cyffredin yw:

  • Hi (She/her/hers)
  • Fe/ Ef (He/him/his)
  • Nhw/Eu/Hwy (They/their/theirs)
  • Ze/Hir/Hir

Mae’r rhagenwau uchod sydd â thestun trwm yn cael eu hadnabod fel rhyw-niwtral neu rhyw-cynhwysol, gan nad ydynt yn cysylltu â rhyw. Gall y rhagenwau yma gael eu defnyddio gan bobl sydd â rhywedd nad yw’n ddeuaidd neu genderqueer (mae’r termau yma yn golygu bod rhyw rywun ddim ond yn wryw neu’n fenyw), ond gall hefyd cael eu defnyddio gan bobl sy’n adnabod fel dynion neu fenywod.

Peidiwch byth cyfeirio at rywun fel “it” neu “he-she” gan fod y termau yma’n niweidiol ac yn dad-ddyneiddio.

Nad yw’r gair ‘nhw’ yn cyfeirio at grŵp o bobl?

Nid o reidrwydd – gall ‘nhw’ cyfeirio at berson unigol, naill ai oherwydd nad ydych yn gwybod eu rhyw, oherwydd nad ydych eisiau enwi unigolyn priodol neu oherwydd dyma’r rhagenw maent yn cysylltu â. Er enghraifft:

  • Rydw i wedi colli galwad ffôn; gadawon nhw ddim neges.
  • Dwi’n teimlo os yw rhywun yn gwneud gwaith da, dylen nhw gael clod.
  • Roedd Robin yn rhedeg yn hwyr oherwydd bod eu gar wedi torri i lawr.

Mae ‘nhw’ unigol yn cael ei ystyried yn gywir.

Pam fod yn bwysig i barchu rhagenwau pobl?

Nid ydych wastad yn gallu adnabod rhagenwau rhywun (na’u rhyw) wrth edrych arnynt. Yn y brifysgol, rydym yn cysylltu ag amrywiaeth o staff a myfyrwyr yn ddyddiol, rhai sydd yn draws ac yn genderqueer, efallai heb wybod. Mae gofyn a defnyddio rhagenwau rhywun yn un o’r ffyrdd symlaf i ddangos parch tuag at eu hunaniaeth rhyw. Pan bod rhywun yn cael eu cyfeirio gyda’r rhagenw anghywir, gall wneud iddynt deimlo wedi amharchu, yn annilys, wedi’i ddiswyddo, wedi’i ddieithrio, neu’n ddysfforig.

Sut alla i ofyn pa ragenwau maent yn defnyddio?

Ceisiwch ofyn: “Pa ragenwau rydych yn defnyddio?” neu “A wnei di atgoffa mi pa ragenwau rwyt yn defnyddio?” Gall teimlo’n anghyfforddus yn gyntaf, ond nid yw mor wael â gwneud rhagdybiaeth niweidiol.

Os rydych yn gofyn fel rhan o ymarferiad cyflwyno ac eisiau esbonio’n gyflym beth yw rhagenwau rhyw, gallwch geisio rhywbeth fel hyn: “Dywedwch wrthon ni eich enw, lle rydych yn dod o a’ch rhagenwau. Mae hyn yn golygu y ragenwau rydych yn defnyddio i gyfeirio at eich hun. Er enghraifft, John ydw i, rydw i o Abertawe a dwi’n defnyddio’r rhagenwau fe/ef.”

Beth os rydw i’n gwneud camgymeriad?

Mae’n iawn! Mae pawb yn gwneud gwall pob hyn a hyn. Y peth orau i wneud os rydych yn defnyddio’r rhagenw anghywir yw dweud rhywbeth yn syth megis, “Sori, roeddwn yn golygu dweud (rhagenw)”. Os ydych yn sylweddoli ar ôl, ymddiheurwch yn dawel ac anghofiwch amdano.

Peidiwch ailadrodd pa mor wael rydych yn teimlo am wneud camgymeriad gan eich bod yn gallu gwneud i’r person oedd wedi cael ei gamgymryd i deimlo’n lletchwith ac yn gyfrifol i’ch cysuro.

Beth os rydw i’n clywed rhywun arall yn gwneud camgymeriad?

Gallwch glywed un o’ch cyd-weithwyr neu fyfyrwyr yn defnyddio’r rhagenw anghywir ar gyfer rhywun. Ym mron pob achos, mae’n addas i’w cywiro’n dawel heb godi rhagor o gywilydd ar yr unigolyn sydd wedi cael ei gamgymryd. Mae hyn nyn golygu dweud rhywbeth megis, “Mae Alex yn defnyddio’r rhagenw hi” ac yna symud ymlaen.

Os mae rhywun yn cael ei gamgymryd drosodd a throsodd, gall fod yn addas i ofyn iddynt ym mhreifat a dweud rhywbeth megis, “Roeddwn wedi sylwi dy fod yn cael ei gyfeirio ato gyda’r rhagenw anghywir a dwi’n deall gall hyn fod yn niweidiol iawn. A fydd ots gennyt fy mod i’n hatgoffa’r person yma am dy ragenwau?” Efallai ni fyddant eisiau i chi ymyrryd ond mae’ch ystyriaeth yn meddwl llawer iddynt.

Eisiau bathodyn rhagenw eich hun? Cysylltwch â Cath ar lgbtplus@abertawe.ac.uk[:]

One thought on “[:en]LGBT+ Inclusion and Pronoun Pin Badges[:cy]LHDT+ Bathodynnau Cynhwysol a Rhagenwau[:]

  1. I’m interested in the idea of EVERYONE using the pronoun “per”, short for “person” as an alternative to only some people using “different” personal pronouns. It’s an idea that includes everyone, rather than one that makes some people seem to be “other” and a nuisance because they have a weird request. What do you think?

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