Letter to the Community: On appropriate pronoun use and GLAM

April 2, 2019, 1:39 a.m.

To the Stanford Community: 

Have you seen or noticed the bins with pronoun stickers popping up around campus?  

Have you seen students or staff/faculty wearing one of six pronoun stickers?  

The Weiland Health Initiative, along with Gender Inclusive Stanford (GIS), has begun to offer these stickers in support of Weiland’s commitment to supporting the mental health and well-being of all students across the gender spectrum. We believe that it is the work of our entire community, not just trans/non-binary/gender non-conforming (TNBGNC)* folks, to create inclusive spaces that are not only gender affirming, but affirming of all identities. These stickers are just one practical visible step in this important and crucial work. 

What are we saying when we consciously choose to use the appropriate pronouns for students, faculty and staff?

We are saying that we strive to create space for people and their realities, truths, and identities even if we find ourselves up against our own learning edges. 

We are saying that we are committed to not inflicting harm on others, to acknowledging who they are and that we respect and trust that they know themselves. 

We are creating space for people to be and bring their full selves, offering dignity and validation, establishing ourselves as people open to and modeling how to stand up for others so that others will follow suit. 

We are also saying that our community members’ sense of safety is important to us. When we misgender** someone, we run the risk of threatening their personal sense of safety or their physical autonomy and security. We want students to feel safe at Stanford, we want to minimize the amount of distress all community members experience, promoting a sense of belonging campus-wide. 

Founded in 2009, International Trans Day of Visibility is celebrated every March 31st. 

SSQRTL, with Weiland & QSR as sponsors, organized Gender Liberation and Awareness Month (GLAM) because one day of recognition is not enough. In response, a month of programming centering TNBGNC folks in conversation about gender justice & liberation was created. 

As our campus begins to celebrate GLAM in a way that centers TNBGNC voices and experiences, we offer these stickers as a way to create concrete channels of action for potential allies and raise our collective awareness. 

Currently, you can find the stickers at Vaden and CAPS, as well as with our campus partners who are part of GIS: DCORE at The Medical School, Kingscote, amongst others. 

For more information about Weiland, GLAM, GIS and other projects, please visit our websites: 

https://queer.stanford.edu/GIS and https://weiland.stanford.edu/.  

We hope to see you at one of the many GLAM events happening this month! 

— Deb Schneider, LCSW, Weiland Health Initiative Program Manager on behalf The Weiland Health Initiative Team

Pronouns: she/her or they/them

*Simply put, folks whose identity falls outside the gender binary system.  

** refer to someone using a word, especially a pronoun or form of address, which does not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify. 

Contact Deb Schneider at debsch ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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