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

Griffin Boyce griffin at cryptolab.net
Mon May 21 17:46:37 UTC 2018

It’s no big deal to me because people continuously get it wrong and I shrug it off unless someone’s intentionally being a jerk. I like the idea that we can intuit such things rather than having to declare them, but of course this idea has no basis in reality — I will likely look androgynous forevermore, and people who are non-binary have similar battles.

By ‘biased’ I mean that I both have an opinion on this but also I carry with me the biases present in the trans community c2003, which in some ways were very different than they are now. Which is to say that my opinions don’t speak for everyone and I’m not trying to.

I like having a mini bio that includes one’s pronouns in a natural-sounding way, to emphasize (as Calpernia Addams once put it) “That little thing called a ‘life’ that surrounds our genitals”.

If people are explicitly avoiding using the correct pronouns, that is another issue entirely, and IMO not one that will likely be solved by the People page.

On May 18, 2018, 6:51 PM -0400, Taylor Yu <catalyst at torproject.org>, wrote:
> On 05/18/2018 03:39 PM, Griffin wrote:
> > I find these without context to be very clunky. A brief bio of
> > "Griffin does xyz and in his spare time plays jazz keytar" flows much
> > better and better represents the richness of one's life. I'm slightly
> > biased on this issue as I'm very visibly trans. While people will
> > naturally make assumptions about my gender/sex (no big deal), some
> > focus on that particular piece of my life instead of what I'm
> > actually doing.
> Thank you for sharing your perspective. I'm glad it's no big deal for
> you when people make assumptions about your gender. I also appreciate
> you not wanting people to focus on that aspect of your life.
> Are you saying we should refrain altogether from optionally displaying
> pronouns on the people page in a standardized way? Or are you expressing
> your desire to opt out of displaying your pronouns like that? Or
> something else?
> I guess I have a different bias. I would find it helpful if we gave
> people the option to display their pronouns in a standardized way.
> People are unlikely to guess my correct pronouns, unless they're in the
> habit of using they/them pronouns by default. Until recently, it was
> more likely than not for someone to guess my gender or pronouns in a
> direction that would hurt me.
> I've found that people who have already made assumptions about someone's
> gender are likely to disregard that person's pronouns if those pronouns
> are used only in running text, as opposed to being displayed in some
> more explicit way. I personally feel more comfortable announcing my
> pronouns if other people also announce theirs (which they are free to do
> or not as they feel comfortable).
> Best regards,
> -Taylor
> pronouns: they/them
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