Gender Awareness Week

By Lelia Thatcher, Staff Writer

EWU’s Gender Awareness Week kicked off Nov. 16 with the “Welcoming Project Ally Training” event at 10 a.m. in PUB 263. Faculty, staff and students were able to become a certified ally to the LGBTQ+ community.

For the second event of the day, “What’s in a Pronoun? The Language of Gender,” Lisa Logan, M.A., led an open discussion at 3 p.m. in Monroe 207 about the diversity of gender pronouns and how to respectfully use them.

Logan began by explaining the difference between gender and sex and how the two terms are often misunderstood. Logan then presented the group with a long list of gender neutral pronouns ranging from zhe, zher and zhim to hu, hum and hus. A student at the discussion even shared the gender pronouns they had taken a year to come up with: (I think it’s jher, jhim and jhe? Claire do you remember??)

Sophomore Mahter Warren said she attended the discussion because she had always felt ignorant to the subject of gender pronouns. “Now when I go out into the world, I might just have to ask people what pronouns they use,” Warren said.

Logan then switched the discussion to the question of how and when to ask someone what gender pronouns they use. Some members of the group felt strongly it is always better to ask than to assume. Others felt that sometimes asking is awkward and can be even more offensive than assuming.

As far as applying these pronouns in everyday life, student Jeanne Marll said, “I think that I will change my attempt, there’s just so many and I don’t know enough about it, but I will definitely make more of an effort.”

Student Katie Fairbanks said “I had no idea that there were zers and jers,” and that she will definitely ask people which pronouns they prefer now.