Frequently Asked Questions

The Center Staff picWe, at the Women's research center and BGLTQ+ student center, thought it would be great to have some frequently asked questions about gender identities clarified. This page offers answers to FAQs about gender and sexuality. We sincerely hope that this will be helpful to you!

Question 1: What are gender neutral pronouns?

Answer: Gendered pronouns are those that indicate gender: he, she, him, her, hers, his, himself and herself. All others, like "it, "one," and "they," are gender-neutral. You probably already use some gender-neutral pronouns: they, their, and them. Suppose you are expecting a call from someone of unknown gender - you might say something like: "If the person from the insurance company calls, tell them I'll call them back tomorrow."

Question 2: Why do people feel uncomfortable with the male or female pronoun?

Answer: Some individuals identify themselves differently as compared to the strict "male" or "female" pronouns that exist in our language. The larger community regards gender as a simple idea - gender identity aligns with the biological sex of an individual or it falls closely within traditional norms of the pronouns "he" or "she". For individuals who do not identify themselves with these "strict" pronouns, it becomes uncomfortable.

Question 3: What are some examples of gender-neutral pronouns?

Answer:  "They" and "ze" are some of the more common forms of gender-neutral pronouns. 

Question 4: How does one use the pronouns?