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Brighton schools give pupils pronoun stickers in support of trans teens

Reiss Smith April 3, 2019
Stickers with messages such as "gender is a spectrum", "respect my pronouns, respect me" and "my pronouns matter"

Schools in Brighton are handing these stickers out to secondary pupils. (Twitter/Brighton & Hove City Council)

Secondary schools and colleges in Brighton are handing out stickers to students in support of trans and non-binary teenagers.

Designed to tackle misgendering, the stickers feature messages such as “gender is a spectrum”, “respect my pronouns, respect me” and “my pronouns matter”.

Council staff have also been invited to don separate pronoun badges.

Workers and members of the public can choose from messages including “my pronouns are she/her/hers”, “my pronouns are they/them/theirs” and “please use my name”. Others are left blank, for the wearer to fill in.

Preferred pronoun stickers are optional

Brighton and Hove Council have said that the badges and stickers are optional for all students and workers.

“They help raise awareness that you can’t assume someone’s gender identity and the pronouns they use,” a spokesperson explained.

“We know from a range of evidence that gender is more complicated than is traditionally recognised.

“You can’t assume someone’s gender identity and pronouns.”

—Brighton & Hove City Council

“We all define our own gender and we should respect other people’s identities and rights.”

Brighton first introduced the badges in March 2018 in celebration of Trans Day of Visibility (March 31).

LGBT+ Campaigners applaud Brighton

Ezra Stripe, diversity and inclusion officer for the Muslim LGBT+ group Hidayah, called the campaign a “really positive move”.

They told PinkNews: “It allows children to explore gender through affirming phrases like ‘gender is a spectrum’ and makes sure their worldview is as wide as possible.

“It also reinforces how important pronouns are, and respect for pronouns (whatever they are) makes the world so much easier and safer for trans people, both at school and out in the world.”

'My pronouns are...' badges
Brighton Council workers have been given ‘my pronouns are…’ badges. (Brighton & Hove City Council)

The “my pronouns are” badges could also be an important tool in “isolating and discouraging transphobia”, Stripe continued.

“Personally I believe all public sector workers should have pronouns on their badges,” they said.

“We need to work against the idea that you can assume someone’s gender based upon how they look and these badges will help to do that, and help trans people to be visible and avoid misgendering.”

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