What are they?
Pronoun ribbons are adhesive ribbons of the stackable sort that can be stuck to name tags, popular at many fandom conventions. Instead of indicating someone’s role at the convention, acting as a prize, or just being funny, the pronoun ribbons are designed to make it easy to tell what pronouns someone wants used to refer to them.
Why use them?
- They make it easy to know which pronouns to use when you aren’t sure.
- They allow people with uncommon pronoun-sets to communicate them easily.
- They prompt a conversation about gender and raise awareness that gender is complicated.
- They create a welcoming environment for people of all genders.
When you’re the only person who needs to communicate your pronouns, it can be uncomfortable. You don’t want to be misgendered, but the fact that you’re saying something about pronouns while other people aren’t marks you as different from them. By encouraging broad adoption of pronoun ribbons (or any other method of communicating personal identity) you help create an environment where that kind of conversation is normal.
As a transgender person, nonbinary person or person who’s misgendered for other reasons, communicating about gender helps avoid being misgendered. As a cisgendered person or someone else who is reliably correctly gendered by others, communicating even though it may be redundant contributes to a community standard that communicating about gender is something that is normal here. It makes it unremarkable for everyone, including the people who need it.