Announcing Gender Pronouns

Case study designed with contributions from Dr Justin Bengry (Lecturer in History, MA in Queer History Course Convenor) and Dr Anna Carlile (Senior Lecturer in Educational Studies).

Picture shows a classroom setting with one teacher and three students, all sitting in a semi-circle. Teacher says with a friendly smile: Welcome to our class! My name is Lisa and I use she, her as my pronouns. Please let us know which pronouns you prefer using, if you feel comfortable doing so.

Picture 2 shows students looking confused. Student 1 says: I don't understand why you want us to disclose this information.. Isn't this a bit too personal? Student 2 says: This is great, but I'm not sure what to say...

Picture 3 shows the teacher wondering what to do about the situation. Teacher says: I want to create a n inclusive class for LGBTQ+ students, but how do I manage conflict?

Picture 4 displays an informative text explaining why students felt confused or uneasy about announcing their gender pronouns in class. The voice says: The power and authority of lecturers and tutors starting introductions by declaring pronouns may gave the practice a weightiness that makes it almost obligatory and stressful for students. They might still be navigating how they want to self-identify publicly. They might not be ready to declare an identity position.

In Picture 5 also displays informative text. The speech bubble says: It might be better for lecturers and tutors to send a welcome email before the first session of class or inductions which indicates their own pronouns. This might encourage those who want to identify theirs to feel safe to do so either in class introductions or privately by email.

In Picture 6, we see students only. They have been given options and they look happier. Student 1 says: I sent a private email to my lecturer. Student 2: I haven't announced my pronouns yet, might do one day... Student 3: I let my group know how I'd like to be addressed.

Storyboard Text

Teacher [with a friendly smile]: Welcome to our class! My name is Lisa and I use she and her as my pronouns. Please let us know which pronouns you prefer using, if you feel comfortable doing so.

Student 1 [confused]: I don’t understand why you want us to disclose this information.. Isn’t this a bit too personal?

Student 2 [uneasy]: This is great, but I’m not sure what to say…

Teacher [wondering what to do]: I want to create a n inclusive class for LGBTQ+ students, but how do I manage conflict??

External voice: The power and authority of lecturers and tutors starting introductions by declaring pronouns may give the practice a weightiness that makes it almost obligatory and stressful for students. They might still be navigating how they want to self-identify publicly. They might not be ready to declare an identity position.

External voice continues: It might be better for lecturers and tutors to send a welcome email before the first session of class or inductions which indicates their own pronouns. This might encourage those who want to identify theirs to feel safe to do so, either in class introductions or privately by email.

Student 1:  I haven’t announced my pronouns yet, might do one day…

Student 2: I let my group know how I’d like to be addressed.

Student 3: I sent a private email to my lecturer.

SCRIPT ENDS.

 

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