What proportions do you recommend?
There’s a nice symbolic value to making equal numbers of each variety available, but we don’t actually think it’s a good idea in practice. In the conventions we organize, there are many more people using the “she/her” and “he/him” sets than there are using the “ey/em” set, for example. Ribbons that are available but never used fulfil a symbolic value, but ribbons that are taken and used are being much more valuable.
If you can, make some educated guesses about the expected gender makeup of your event before you order. For example, if you expect that 3/4 of people there use female pronouns, get three times as many “she / her” ribbons as others.
We recommend getting a relatively large proportion of the fill-in-the-blank ribbons, and keeping medium-point black markers (Sharpies work great!) to fill them out. They let people create ribbons for pronoun sets that you don’t have pre-printed, and they can also be used if you run out of one of your pre-printed designs. Fill-in-the-blank ribbons become whatever you need, so you can experiment and learn the right proportions for your community.
If you know what the most common non-gendered / non-binary pronouns are in your community, we recommend having a few more than you think you need. Many people who are often assumed to be cisgendered actually prefer a non-gendering pronoun set when given the option. In our community, that’s the “they/them” pronoun set, but you should make the right decision for your local community.
If you have the resources, it’s great to have a variety of non-gendered / non-binary pronouns. It’s always a great feeling when you see your own pronouns available as an option that others recognize. Even if no one uses those pronouns, having them available helps remind people that gender is a broad space, not a binary or even three-way decision.
It can be expensive to have a large variety of pre-printed ribbons available. If you can’t pre-print less common pronoun-sets in your community, you can achieve nearly as good results by neatly hand-writing some additional pronoun sets onto the fill-in-the-blank ribbons. That’s also helpful for demonstrating how to use the fillable ribbons, and providing an example that they’re okay to write on.
How can I get them?
In small quantities
If you’d like a small number of pronoun ribbons, it’s not very cost-effective to order less than 100.
We’re looking for ways to make this easier for people who want to carry pronoun ribbons with them to events that aren’t using them yet, or people who want to use them at a small event.
In large quantities (100 or more of each design)
If you want to distribute pronoun ribbons at an event, we recommend buying them directly from the printer.
We’ve used Ribbons Galore to print ours, because they’ve given us good results and their prices are reasonable. If you want to use a different printer, our source files are available on the site so you can set up the ribbon designs with them.
The ribbon I want isn’t here!
We haven’t typeset all the pronouns we’re aware of, and we’re sure there are pronouns in use that we haven’t heard yet. We also have ideas for experiments with other shapes / content to help convey information. We’re just getting started!
Help us make these better! If you have an idea for a ribbon we haven’t made, get in touch! No promises we’ll decide to make it – we’re just two volunteers! – but we love to hear ideas, and we love to put new, useful designs together to help people.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about ribbon designs.
Who is using them?
We launched these pronoun ribbons at Foolscap 2015. We’ve also brought them to Norwescon.
Have you used these or other pronoun ribbons at a convention? Planning to use them at an upcoming event? Email email@example.com and let us know!
Who made them?
Electric Keet designed the ribbons’ appearance and laid them out.
Jason Wodicka organized the project and set up this site.
We’re both organizers of Foolscap, which has been a supportive ground for creating a new communication tool.
You can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Who else has done this?
This isn’t some unique idea that only we’ve had! There are other sets of pronoun ribbons around, and it’s great that there are lots of people looking at ways to support people being identified correctly. If the ribbons we designed aren’t right for you, we hope one of these will help!
- The Pronoun Ribbons Project has they/them, she/her, and he/him pronoun sets in silver on black, and “What are your pronouns?” and “Ask me about my pronouns!” in black on white. Small orders of ribbons are available from them for a suggested donation; contact them for larger orders.
- Arisia 2015 had a large set of pronoun options in black on hot pink, including “No pronouns, just my name,” they/them/theirs, she/her/hers, xe/xem/xyrs, ze/zir/zirs, ze/hir/hirs, he/him/his and __/__/__.
- In a slightly different shape, Non-Newtonian Gender Fluid has a set of name-tag style stickers with printed pronouns, including one with a blank for filling pronouns in. (Search for “Hello Pronouns” in their store.)
I want to get updates about these!
This project is just getting started, and we’re planning to create more ribbons and find ways to make them available to events as easily as possible. If you want to get updates when things change, sign up for our mailing list:
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Since our goal is to respect everyone’s preferences, we’ll only use your email to notify you about pronoun-ribbon related things, and you can unsubscribe easily.
I have more questions!
Ask us! Email email@example.com with your questions, and maybe we can help!