You might have noticed a little story in the media today about a certain former athlete who announced via Vanity Fair, that she has transitioned in gender from male to female. You may have also noticed that a lot of people on the Internet are struggling to figure out what pronouns to use for someone who has transitioned in gender. 

Caitlyn Jenner has requested to be referred to with female pronouns. 

A Twitter bot has been created to politely ensure that as many people as possible respect Caitlyn’s wishes:

So far, the automated bot account is at over 1000 tweets in less than 24 hours. 

If you are confused, here are some of GLAAD‘s suggestions regarding respectful terminology for transgender people:

  • Always use a transgender person’s chosen name.
    Many transgender people are able to obtain a legal name change from a court. However, some transgender people cannot afford a legal name change or are not yet old enough to change their name legally. They should be afforded the same respect for their chosen name as anyone else who lives by a name other than their birth name (e.g., celebrities). 
  • Whenever possible, ask transgender people which pronoun they would like you to use.
    A person who identifies as a certain gender, whether or not that person has taken hormones or had some form of surgery, should be referred to using the pronouns appropriate for that gender. 
  • If it is not possible to ask a transgender person which pronoun is preferred, use the pronoun that is consistent with the person’s appearance and gender expression.
    For example, if a person wears a dress and uses the name Susan, feminine pronouns are usually appropriate. 
  • It is never appropriate to put quotation marks around either a transgender person’s chosen name or the pronoun that reflects that person’s gender identity.

Remember, it takes you absolutely no effort at all to use a slightly different word in order to make another human being feel as comfortable as you are in this world. 

via Twitter & GLAAD

Image: Annie Liebovitz via Vanity Fair