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Utilizing Pronouns in Professional Practice

The use for pronouns has become a prominent act of LGBT+ solidarity across the US. Here’s why pronouns have taken the forefront in the social justice movement. Plus - why YOU should be utilizing pronouns in professional practice as an RD. Understanding Pronouns and Gender Identity Pronouns are a simple way to communicate your gender identity with both colleagues, patients/clients, and the general public. While sex is a biological characteristic, gender identity is who you are as a person, emotionally and psychologically. It's important to remember that one is not required to adhere to socially determined gender identity based on biological sex. The most common prefered pronoun combinations are:

  • she/her/hers

  • he/him/his

  • they/them/theirs

  • A mixture (ex: she/them/theirs)

  • Spanish-language variations: el/ella

Pronouns are an Essential Part of Allyship The use of pronouns by cis-gender individuals is an essential part of normalizing discussions of gender identity and showing allyship to the trans and nonbinary communities. As nutrition professionals, it is our responsibility to express our allyship for the gender identification rights of patients/clients and fellow colleagues who are a part of these oppressed communities. This can include advocating for adding gender identification to initial patient-intake forms, for example. Begin Using Pronouns in Personal and Professional Practice Today Show your allyship today by utilizing your preferred pronouns in your life and practice. Simple places to insert your pronouns:

  • Email signatures

  • Social media and video technology (i.e., Zoom) profiles

  • Salutations

  • In general/professional conversation (ex: “Hello, my name is X and my preferred pronouns are x/x/x(s)”)

Additional Resources for Serving Transgender and Non-Binary Communities


Written by: Allie Lansman (she/her), IAND DEI Liaison



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