[tor-project] Proposal for the people page: Pronouns

teor teor2345 at gmail.com
Sun May 20 03:01:37 UTC 2018

On 20 May 2018, at 11:13, John Gilmore <gnu at toad.com> wrote:

>> I welcome feedback about any of the above suggestions.
> I have a suggestion.  Rather than rewrite the vocabulary of everybody
> else,

"Rewrite the vocabulary" is a really odd take, John.

Would you say the same thing to someone has an unusual name, or a
name with an unusual spelling?

And most English speakers I know regularly use the words he, him, his;
she, her; and they, them, their. (Some people use less common
pronouns. But some people use less common names, too.)

Part of getting to know people is learning the name(s) and pronouns
that they prefer.

> how about becoming less touchy about what words people use
> regarding people whose chosen gender is not completely obvious?

"Less touchy" is another odd take.

Would you say that to someone whose name is harder for you to

If you forget names or pronouns, that's fine. It happens. Some
people let it pass, others give a gentle reminder. That's up to them.

If you persist in using the wrong name or pronouns for someone,
they may feel hurt or insulted, and avoid talking to you. Or they
might just ignore it (or you). That's not being touchy, that's
avoiding an awkward situation that you're creating.

And if you do it deliberately, as some kind of statement?
Then that's disrespectful and rude. If you're that hostile towards
people who don't meet your gender expectations, then you'll
be more comfortable if you avoid interacting with us. And so will

We can't guess everyone's gender correctly from their appearance.
And we shouldn't expect to be able to. Sometimes gender isn't
obvious. That's why having a list of names and pronouns is useful.

I wonder if talking about gender in this way is new to you.
If it is, then this mailing list isn't the best place for you to learn how
different people talk and think about gender.

Teen Vogue has a great FAQ on gender pronouns here:

And there are other excellent resources online.


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