When you think of Sweden, what comes to mind?
Probably meatballs, IKEA furniture, and ABBA. What you may not know about Sweden is its groundbreaking and thoroughly inclusive approach to gender-neutral pronouns.
In 2012, Sweden added the gender-neutral hen pronoun to its Swedish language dictionary. This small addition has had a huge impact.
A pronoun is a word that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase. The most common pronouns in the English language include she/her/hers, he/him/his, and they/them/theirs.
I lived in Linköping, Sweden for about three and a half months in early 2020 as part of a university exchange…
In a year spent mostly on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms such as Cisco WebEx, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and more, it seems like we are all becoming experts. Now it is time to put your Zoom skills to use to be inclusive.
The easiest thing you can do to promote an inclusive virtual environment is to add your pronouns next to your name. This is as simple as adjusting the settings for your display name with a few easy steps that I will walk you through below.
The easiest way to be inclusive is by sharing your pronouns!
On my first day working at the Human Rights Campaign as an intern, I was struck by the introductions. The sense of ease with which every member of the team shared their names and pronouns. It was the first time I had met folks that used they/them pronouns. This experience would change how I understand the importance of pronouns for the better.
The easiest way to do this is by adding pronouns to your introduction. For example, when I introduce myself I say “Hi there, my name is Meg…
When I was filling out paperwork for an appointment, there was a section asking for “preferred” pronouns. My initial reaction was a positive one. I was pleased with this effort by the clinic to be more inclusive but something about the paperwork struck me as a bit odd with the word “preferred.” After thinking about this, I had a realization that nothing about pronouns is preferred.
Pronouns are self-ascribed and therefore a matter of choice rather than assignment. This is because of the way that gender is an internal concept based on how a person identifies. Assuming that the pronouns…
The US Senate must pass the Equality Act in order to finally provide consistent, explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.
While non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people exist at the state level in places like New York and my home state of Minnesota, there is no federal protection for individuals on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Current civil rights laws have failed to protect LGBTQ+ people due to the lack of federal law which provides explicit protections for LGBTQ+ people. These gaps are allowing for injustices to fall through the cracks.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, the…
Next week the US House of Representatives will vote on The Equality Act (H.R.5), a sweeping amendment to the existing civil rights laws that will end legal discrimination against LGBTQ+ Americans.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, The Equality Act “would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.”
In May 2019, it passed in the House with a 236–173 vote, with a total of 8 Republican votes in support of The Equality Act. However, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch…
In elementary school, a teacher told me that my comprehension and overall reading skills were terrible. As a result, at the impressionable age of seven, I decided to quit reading for good.
I didn’t read a book cover to cover for another 13 years.
In high school, I never read the assigned books because I didn’t think of myself as a reader. I would start but never finish books because it didn’t seem to matter. Besides… I’m not a reader, so why bother?
I have always been a good student. Taking advanced placement and honours courses throughout high school and…
I thought my headache was from the jetlag. Just 24 hours earlier I had returned to the US from Sweden where I was studying abroad.
The first symptom I experienced was a headache, unlike anything I had ever experienced. Then the body aches that kept me in bed for days started just before I spiked a fever and started coughing. At that point, there was so much unknown about the virus that I was never tested.
In July I donated blood with the American Red Cross and my COVID-19 antibody test came back positive.
I KNEW IT!
This information confirmed…
In an announcement made up of less than 500 words (498 to be exact) the futures of over a million US-based international students have been jeopardized. In a statement released by the US Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) stating the following:
“Nonimmigrant F-1* and M-1* students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States.”
This means over a million students are in danger of being deported if their university holds classes online this fall. …
My first taste of minimalism came from an article about a man that kept all of his belongings in a single suitcase. This extreme example of minimalism seemed crazy to me at the time as I read the article from my disastrously messy dorm room. Yet, something compelled me to learn more.
I studied minimalism for several weeks before I made a pile about as tall as I am of belongings I no longer used. I threw all the clothes, linens, and old books into bags and declared myself an aspiring minimalist.
It felt amazing to get rid of so…
She/They, LGBTQ+ advocate, bookworm, one of the top LGBTQ writers on Medium.