How do I ask someone what pronouns they use?

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. Also asking about when you can use those pronouns helps protect people from being outed; this can sound like “Are there any situations where you don’t want me to use these pronouns?”

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 Xena, I’m from Amazon Island, and I like to be referred to with she, her, and hers pronouns. So you could say, ‘she went to her car’ if you were talking about me.”

It is important to remember that by consistently asking people for their pronouns, you can help create a more normalized and safe way for others to share their pronouns, which they may not have been able to do before.

However, there are multiple reasons why someone may not want to share their pronouns in a group setting. If someone does not share their pronouns, feel free to use their name as a placeholder or ask in a more private setting.