"Hi, my name is K Strohl and my pronouns are They/She/He."
I start almost every new conversation this way. Even if the person hosting the conversation doesn't share their pronouns and even if the person hosting looks confused when I do. I want that person to know what pronouns to use for me and that I won't be hiding any bit of me during our time together.
There are other ways to do this but I like a simple entrance. I actually mentioned a few of these examples during my time with Ricklyn Woods (She/Her).
Other ways to introduce your pronouns could sound like:
"I didn't get your pronouns. Could you share them with me?"
Requesting everyone involved have their pronouns visible (name tags, name plates, Zoom name, etc.)
“Hey, I'm XYZ and I use he/him pronouns. What pronouns do you use?”
Before last year I never really gave thought to my pronouns. I mean I had them on my profile and everywhere else I could think to put them but never really put any thought behind what they meant for me. I didn't take time to think until I misgendered Gaby Espana (They/Them) on Absolutely Not!
It was bad! I immediately apologized and made a better effort to not fuck it up again. That episode made me aware of the harm I was capable of causing. Harm I am now dedicated to preventing, educating on and contributing to the reduction of world wide.
Some of the words associated with that harm are:
After the episode I visited various places online, read several articles and books on gender and the binary people believe it to be. Along the way I found myself. In August of 2021, I started using They/She pronouns!
Now, I know those are not the pronouns I use today but I'm getting there. In December of 2021, I was out at a social event and was asked if I was masc or femme. Another binary I wasn't interested in participating in. I didn't have the answer then but it made me look even deeper into what I wanted to be "perceived as".
I DON'T WANT TO BE PERCEIVED AS SHIT!
I want no one to make assumptions of me and I want my actions not to be controlled by my perceived gender or shared pronouns. I want less people to be concerned with "what's in my pants" and more concerned with de-centering their understanding of me in my life.
While I still don't have all the answers, here are some words that resonate with me currently and may help others in understanding where I am at in my journey:
I prefer my pronouns to be used interchangeably in conversation and writing.
K Strohl loves public speaking. He has been speaking publicly for over 10 years. She speaks passionately about mental health, boundaries, suicide prevention, psychological safety and other related topics. Book them now!
Edit: A lot of people have been asking me "which of these pronouns most describe [me]"?
Answer: They all do. That's why I want them used interchangeably when I'm described. I don't personally care what order they are used in as long as they are all used. Again, the words listed above may help in understanding but know that your understanding of me is not a priority of mine but you respecting me is.
Okay, now that we're all caught up on me.
Here are some real things I want you to take away:
People change overtime and they’re allowed to
Your understanding of gender has nothing to do with the next person's expression of theirs
Your ability to create safer spaces is dependent on your efforts alone
My name is K Strohl and my pronouns are They/She/He and you need to respect them, even if they change tomorrow.
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