Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Be a Gender Diversity Ally! Just Ask Me How.

Pantheacon, the annual San Francisco Bay Area pagan conference, is coming up this weekend. Let’s show our beautiful gender diverse community some love!
  • Use the name and gender that the person currently uses. You can find it on their handy dandy badge and ribbon. Or you can ask! It’s great that you’ve known Pond (they/them/their) since they were Lauren (she/her/hers). Honor their now!  
  • Accidental misgendering/deadnaming happens. It’s a bummer for both parties, but we are evolving beings and sometimes we aren't up to date on everyone. Apologize, use the correct gender/name and move on. Accept that gentle correction (“I go by Sylvia - please use the pronouns e/em/eir.”). This person is trusting you to have this information and it is an honor.
  • Don’t share a person's history without their consent. Last year Rosewood (she/her/hers) may have gone by Thor (he/him/his). It is an honor knowing a piece of her history, but it’s up to her to decide who to share it with!
  • Speak up when you hear misgendering/deadnaming. This is a multi step process and so very important. Be sure that you know the name and gender pronouns are correct for that person. Ask if they consent to you sharing that information if needed. Gently correct the person if you have consent to do so (e.g. "Root prefers they/them/their.")
  • Time and place are important. If a person’s name is on their badge and they’re wearing a pronoun ribbon, then it is public information - within the Pantheacon environment. Just like with magickal names, the person may not be safe to use their true gender in the mundane. Say hi when you bump into each other at Trader Joe’s, but find out their preference.
  • Don't assume pronouns based on gender. I'm genderqueer and use they/them/their but another genderqueer person may use ze/hir/hirs. Just ask if you're not sure.
Honoring our community members is as easy as listening and respecting each person’s wishes. If you're unsure, ask if you may have a conversation with the individual to find out how you can honor their gender.

And for Pantheacon specific support the Circle of Cerridwen has been so kind as to get pronoun ribbons to append to your badges at Pantheacon. As CAYA Initiate Kitsune put so well in a recent blog post:
I want to encourage my cisgender readers to wear the ribbon with your pronouns on them, in solidarity with your fellow Pagans who are trans and/or non-binary.
Have a great con!