This feels like deja vu. I either read this and didn’t comment on it or someone else wrote a similar piece with your sentiments. I thought about this a couple of years ago when I was interviewing a mental health expert in the Latino community. I’m already trying to make sure I say whatever preferred term someone chooses: Chicano/a, Hispanic, Latino/a/x, etc. “Latinx” was new for me. I pondered on it for awhile.

It kinda reminds me of the argument being made for heterosexual people being called “cisgender.” There was a post on Medium suggesting that name tags should include our chosen pronouns (ex. she/her). While I was hosting a storytelling series, someone put pronouns down in place of the area where “name pronunciation” should go. At the time I thought it was unnecessary considering me and the other host only introduce people by name.

Anyway, my thoughts on it are pretty simple. I’ll call you what you want to be called. I don’t lose any sleep over anyone wanting to be referred to as ________. And 99% of the time, I just call a person by his/her name to avoid that awkward pause if I don’t know. But I, personally, am NOT going to start putting pronouns down nor call myself “cisgender.” I get why the terms are needed for other communities, but I’m as comfortable calling myself “heterosexual” and going with the obvious conclusion from one quick glance at me for pronouns. (I had a few customer service people call me Mr. and “sir” because they weren’t sure what to make of my first name, but other than that, never an issue.) Do what you do. And I’ll do what I feel most comfortable doing.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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