International Pronouns Day is a day to learn more about pronouns and how to respect others, their gender identity and the pronouns they choose to go by. This year on Wednesday Oct. 16, Kean University held it's 2nd Annual Pronouns Day event in the North Avenue Academic Building (NAAB) from 11:00 a.m to 1:45 p.m.
International Pronouns Day is held on the third Wednesday of October. This year that day was Oct. 16, and people gathered to celebrate the day and discuss what it means to use pronouns and use them correctly. The event had three guest speakers: Adrian Salam, who goes by the pronouns he, him and his; Cameron Raices who goes by the pronouns they, their and theirs; and Kris Berrios, who goes by the pronouns he, him and his. The former two are current Kean University students, while the latter is a Kean University Alumnus.
The day was led by Berrios, Salam and Raices as they had an open discussion with students about pronoun usage. They also encouraged everyone to ask any questions they had, as they believed it was important to keep an open dialogue about what it means not to be cis-gendered and goes by pronouns other then the ones they were given at birth.
A cis-gendered person is someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth, whether it be male or female. While this used to be considered the norm, it is becoming more and more clear that there have been, and still are, many people who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, and who are actively working to become the person they know they are inside. That is a big part of what International Pronouns Day is all about.
It is about understanding that one's own experience is not the sole experience in the world, and taking the time to learn more about the person next to them. The event appeared to achieve these goals as students had plenty of questions for the speakers. They discussed things like when the speakers realized they did not conform to the genders they had been assigned, how they dealt with the pressures of dating, finding acceptance from their families and becoming comfortable with the people they are.
There was even a point in the event when the speakers had everyone in attendance turn to someone new and practice asking the stranger their pronouns, as well as giving their own. The day appeared to be a successful one, where people who may have been struggling with their own pronouns/identity, known someone who was struggling or just wanted to learn about pronoun usage were able to do so.
Anyone who would like to learn more or has more questions can visit the International Pronouns Day Website. Students interested in finding out more about pronouns may also visit the Women's and Gender Studies page on the Kean University website or PRISM's Cougar Link page, as it had been these two organizations that hosted the event.