Listing preferred pronouns in work email signature when cis?
April 1, 2016 9:42 AM   Subscribe

I work with many trans clients, but I am cis. Is it inappropriate for me to list my preferred gender pronouns on my email signature, like many of my trans friends, colleagues and clients do? I think that it is a good way to indicate to new clients that I am trans friendly, but is it appropriative? Thanks!
posted by gnar_gnar to Society & Culture (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nope, not inappropriate.
posted by odinsdream at 9:46 AM on April 1, 2016


I imagine it would be helpful and normalizing.
posted by Lady Li at 9:47 AM on April 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am trans and I greatly appreciate it when cis people do this.
posted by ITheCosmos at 9:48 AM on April 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


(But I would note that referring to them as "preferred" pronouns is seen as to be avoided in circles I run in. They're just pronouns).
posted by ITheCosmos at 9:49 AM on April 1, 2016 [11 favorites]


Could I ask for an example of what that would look like in a professional email signature? It isn't something I've run across in the wild. I'm always interested in ways to be more welcoming.
posted by postel's law at 9:51 AM on April 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Nonbinary dfab person here. I, and the majority (if not all) of my trans friends thinks that cis people listing their pronouns is a good thing. It normalizes it, and provides a barrier so that listed pronouns don't automatically out a trans person*.

(*the same reason I'm in favor of adopting gender-neutral language across the board, and I call my significant other partner even when they're male)
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:53 AM on April 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


Include a CV sentence as part of your signature that uses the pronoun. "Gnar-gnar is a (profession). (Pronoun) can be reached at (phone number)."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:53 AM on April 1, 2016 [20 favorites]


Could I ask for an example of what that would look like in a professional email signature? It isn't something I've run across in the wild. I'm always interested in ways to be more welcoming.

Jillyboo Smithyton (she/her)
Professional Title, Whatever
Contact Details
Logo
Think Of Trees Disclaimer
posted by odinsdream at 9:57 AM on April 1, 2016 [10 favorites]


thanks everyone, that was super quick and helpful!
ITheCosmos, thanks for pointing that out, I totally see what you are saying, will avoid.
posted by gnar_gnar at 10:03 AM on April 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've gotten professional emails from cis people including pronouns in the sig, so I've seen what you're thinking of.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 10:13 AM on April 1, 2016


My company has a very specific required Email signature. Does yours? If so, you may need to get permission or try to change things 'from the top'.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:32 AM on April 1, 2016


Mine reads

name
position
pronouns: she/her/hers

I try not to use the word preferred because that implies that someone has a choice of what to use.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:34 AM on April 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was just thinking that this info would be good to include, say, in an online email directory. Sometimes, I have to get in touch with people I don't know, and it isn't always easy to tell by their names what gender they are, to properly address the email (Mr. Ms. Mrs).
posted by SillyShepherd at 10:59 AM on April 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


So is this an argument for defaulting to first names if you don't know for sure? The traditional business approach is Dear Mr. or Ms. whatever, but that generally defaults to cis gender alignment. Is Dear Mr. Smith, when Mr. Smith identifies as Ms. Smith, more or less offensive than Dear Firstname from somebody that you aren't on a first name basis with?
posted by COD at 11:26 AM on April 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


COD: Just ask. This article is pretty helpful.
posted by odinsdream at 11:49 AM on April 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


So is this an argument for defaulting to first names if you don't know for sure? The traditional business approach is Dear Mr. or Ms. whatever, but that generally defaults to cis gender alignment. Is Dear Mr. Smith, when Mr. Smith identifies as Ms. Smith, more or less offensive than Dear Firstname from somebody that you aren't on a first name basis with?

My usual choice for this situation is "Dear Jordan Johnson" (or whatever Firstname Lastname combo we have).
posted by dlugoczaj at 2:39 PM on April 1, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's becoming the requested norm at my alma mater, a lot of people put their pronouns in solidarity in their email signature, so they can work on making spaces trans/genderqueer/non-binary friendly. They're not "preferred" since they're not optional.
posted by yueliang at 7:11 PM on April 1, 2016


I work for a health clinic that's focused on providing care to the LGBTQ population. Our required template for email sigs is:
tivalasvegas
Job Title

My pronouns: he/him/his
Why pronouns matter: [link to a page on our website that outlines why we use pronouns]

Company / 555.555.5050 / website
address
city, town, zip
Except, on checking, the link on pronouns goes to a 404 Not Found page... oops....
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:46 PM on April 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


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