Using the correct pronoun is one of the easiest ways to acknowledge and respect someone's identity. Learn more about what pronouns are, why they matter, and how to use them.
A pronoun is a word that refers to either the people talking (I or you) or someone or something that is being talked about (like she, it, them, and this). Gender pronouns (he/she/they/ze etc.) specifically refer to people that you are talking about.
She/her/hers and he/him/his are a few commonly used pronouns. Some people call these “female/feminine” and “male/masculine” pronouns, but many avoid these labels because not everyone who uses he feels like a “male” or “masculine.”
There are also lots of gender-neutral pronouns in use. Here are a few you might hear:
Never refer to a person as “it” or “he-she”. These are offensive slurs used against trans and gender non-conforming individuals.
You can’t always know what someone’s pronouns are by looking at them. Asking and correctly using someone’s pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity.
When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated, or dysphoric (often all of the above). It is a privilege to not have to worry about which pronoun someone is going to use for you based on how they perceive your gender. If you have this privilege, yet fail to respect someone else’s gender identity, it is not only disrespectful and hurtful, but also oppressive.
It’s okay! Everyone slips up from time to time. The best thing to do if you use the wrong pronoun for someone is to say something right away, like “Sorry, I meant (insert pronoun)”.
If you realize your mistake after the fact, apologize in private and move on.
A lot of the time it can be tempting to go on and on about how bad you feel that you messed up or how hard it is for you to get it right. Please don’t! It is inappropriate and makes the person who was misgendered feel awkward and responsible for comforting you, which is absolutely not their job.
Taking an active role in your classes, you may hear one of your peers or students using the wrong pronoun for someone. In most cases, it is appropriate to gently correct them without further embarrassing the individual who has been misgendered. This means saying something like “Alex uses the pronoun she,” and then moving on. If other students or faculty are consistently using the wrong pronouns for someone, do not ignore it! It is important to let your student know that you are their ally.
It may be appropriate to approach them and say something like “I noticed that you were getting referred to with the wrong pronoun earlier, and I know that that can be really hurtful. Would you be okay with me taking them aside and reminding them about your pronouns?” Follow up if necessary, but take your cues from the comfort level of your student. Your actions will be greatly appreciated.
This guide was adapted from "Gender Pronouns" by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Plus (LGBTQ+) Resource Center, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
In short, because everyone deserves the right to use the restroom without fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence. Many transgender and gender nonconforming people face deep discomfort, discrimination, harassment, or even violence simply for using the restroom. Most restrooms are exclusive to "Men" and "Women" leaving members of our community without a safe space to use the restroom. Providing gender inclusive restrooms that are available to anyone regardless of gender identity or expression allows everyone to use the restroom in safety and peace. Parents or caregivers of a different gender also benefit from gender inclusive restrooms.
Simply, a restroom that is open to all genders rather than gender-specific (e.g. Men or Women).
Currently, all of Buffalo State's gender inclusive restrooms are single-stall, locking restrooms. Signage for these restrooms does not always indicate that they are single-stall or gender inclusive. Restrooms will use either "Unisex" or "Family" signage.
For a listing of gender neutral restrooms available beyond Buffalo State, check out REFUGE Restrooms.
|Alumni & Visitor Center||207 & 208|
|Buckham Hall B Wing||B203* & B204*|
|Bulger Communication Center||107* & 149|
|Burchfield Penney Art Center||132|
|E. H. Butler Library||136* & 137*|
|Campbell Student Union||308A*|
|Science & Mathematics Complex||00A*|
|South Wing||108*, 133, 135, 320D|
|Upton Hall||137E*, 218*, 313*|
|Weigel Health Center||101A, 101C, & 202|
*Denotes accessible restrooms