Teacher says 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.
[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…
The teacher is wondering what to do about the situation. She says: I want to create an inclusive class for LGBTQ+ students, but how do I manage conflict?
Informative text explains why students felt confused or uneasy about announcing their gender pronouns in class. An external voice says: 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.
The 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.
Students have been given options and they look happier. Student 1 says: I sent a private email to my lecturer. Student 2 says: I haven’t announced my pronouns yet, might do one day… Student 3 says: I let my group know how I’d like to be addressed.