Learn more about pronoun indicators

Last updated: July 13, 2021
Current status (June 30, 2021) — Pronouns aren’t yet available in Identity.UW. This page is being made available prior to release, so that implementers and other contributors can refer to it, and the community is aware of the general approach to governance and integration of pronoun data. Notes (in italics) are added where coordination with data stewards and other stakeholders continues. Feedback is welcome.

Pronoun indicators make sharing, displaying, and learning pronouns easier. Many people use them online, in person, on buttons and elsewhere to refer to the pronouns they or someone else goes by — e.g. “Hi, I’m Sam, and I use they/them pronouns”.

What do these pronoun indicators mean?

Select a pronoun indicator to learn more about its use:

Description: A pronoun indicator for she pronouns.

Forms:

Pronoun indicator Nominative (subject) Objective (object) Possessive determiner Possessive pronoun Reflexive
she/her

She wrote an article.

I cited her.

Her article won an award.

That research is hers.

She cited herself.

Alternate formats: she, her; she/her/hers; she or her

Description: A pronoun indicator for he pronouns.

Forms:

Pronoun indicator Nominative (subject) Objective (object) Possessive determiner Possessive pronoun Reflexive
he/him

He wrote an article.

I cited him.

His article won an award.

That research is his.

He cited himself.

Alternate formats: he, him; he/him/his; he or him

Description: A pronoun indicator for singular they pronouns.

Forms:

Pronoun indicator Nominative (subject) Objective (object) Possessive determiner Possessive pronoun Reflexive
they/them

They wrote an article.

I cited them.

Their article won an award.

That research is theirs.

They cited themself.

Alternate formats: they, them; they/them/theirs; they or them

Description: A pronoun indicator for she or singular they pronouns.

Forms: same as for she/her and they/them.

Alternate formats: she/her/they/them; she or they; she/her or they/them

Description:A pronoun indicator for he or singular they pronouns.

Forms: same as for he/him and they/them.

Alternate formats: he/him/they/them; he or they

Description: A pronoun indicator for singular they or she pronouns.

Forms: same as for they/them and she/her.

Alternate formats: they or she; they/them or she/her

Description: A pronoun indicator for singular they or he pronouns.

Forms: same as for they/them and he/him.

Alternate formats: they or he; they/them or he/him

Description: A pronoun indicator for singular they or any other pronouns.

Forms: same as for they/them and any other pronouns.

Description: A pronoun indicator for any or all pronouns.

Forms: same as for any other pronouns.

Alternate formats: Any pronouns

What about indicators for other pronouns?

It isn’t clear that a single pronoun indicator is used widely and across many contexts by people who want to invite others to ask them about their pronouns. “Ask me my pronouns”, “ask me about my pronouns”, and (abbreviated) “ask me my prns” are examples. More time and further innovations in language expression and formatting may result in a short pronoun indicator whose semantics are widely known and shared. (Pioneers, do your thing!)

It isn’t clear that a single pronoun indicator is used widely and across many contexts by people to indicate to others not to use any pronouns when referring to them. Some individuals use “No pronouns”, while others use “no prns”, by itself or combined with other pronoun indicators, “any/no prns”, “he/it/no prns”.

Non-english, heritage language, and bilingual speakers use pronoun indicators too, sometimes in combination with English pronoun indicators. For example, “she/ella” or “they/el” (both with Spanish third person pronouns) or “she/they/siya” (with Tagalog third-person singular gender-fluid pronoun).

Pronoun indicators are often used when sharing neopronouns, as well as nounself and emojiself pronouns. As with other new or rare words, pronoun indicators for neopronouns may vary.