Gender Identity Resources

TU is committed to an inclusive campus for all community members, including all gender identities, gender expressions and sexual orientations. The following information provides useful information on resources and policies supporting gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

Gender identity resources is part of an ongoing effort to improve the TU campus climate for students. To learn more, read the Diversity Strategic Plan and its finding.

Gender Identity and Expression 

Gender identity is one’s own sense of being male, female, neither, both or another gender. It can correlate with an individual’s assigned sex or it can differ. For transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer and gender non-conforming people, their sex assigned at birth, or natal sex and their gender identity are not the same.

An individual’s gender expression is a composite of behavior, mannerisms, interests and appearance that allows an individual to publicly express or present their gender. Gender expression can but does not always reflect a person’s gender identity. It is also separate from sexual orientation and sex assigned at birth.

What are Pronouns?

A pronoun is a word that refers to either the person talking (I or you), someone or something that is being talked about (she, it, them), or their name. Commonly used pronouns such as she and he imply one’s gender identity. Gender-Neutral Pronouns refer to an individual that does not imply ‘male’ or ‘female,’ for instance, they, xe, or ey. 

Neopronouns are new (neo) pronouns that are increasingly used in place of “she,” “he,” and even “they” that deviate from common pronoun options but do not indicate gender. Examples include: xe/xem/xyr, ze/hir/hirs, and ey/em/eir. 

Additionally, some individuals do not use pronouns at all or use nameself pronouns, for instance, someone named Doc may use Doc/Docs pronouns. Instead of using pronouns, some individuals refer to themselves by name, epithet or rephrase sentences to omit pronouns by using passive voice. They ask that you refer to them by their name, for instance, “Doc ate Doc’s food because Doc was hungry.”

Commonly Used Pronouns

Use the table below to enter the pronouns and understand how they work.

  • Subject: (Column 1) laughed at the notion of a gender binary.
  • Object: They tried to convince (column 2) that asexuality does not exist.
  • Possessive: (Column 3) favorite color is unknown.
  • Possessive Pronoun: The pronoun card is (column 4).
  • Reflexive: (Column 1) think(s) highly of (column 5).
1 2 3 4 5
(f)ae (f)aer (f)aer (f)aers (f)aerself
e/ey em eir eirs eirself
he him his his himself
per per pers pers perself
she her her hers herself
they them their theirs themself
ve ver vis vis verself
xe xem xyr xyrs xemself
ze/zie hir hir hirs hirself

Pronouns Usage

Pronouns for Practice

For more practice use this app developed my Minus18 to understand pronoun usage.

Updating Your Pronouns, Gender Identity & Chosen/Preferred Name

Students, faculty and staff can identity their pronouns, gender identity and chosen/preferred name for use in TU communications by completing the Chosen/Preferred Name, Pronoun & Gender Identity Request Form.

Learn more about Chosen & Preferred Name Resources. If you have questions, please contact .

Report a Bias-Related Incident

Any member of the university community can make a report about a possible bias-related incident. Even if you are unsure whether you have experienced a bias-related incident or have questions use the form below.

What is a Bias-Related Incident?

The term ‘bias-related’ refers to language and/or behaviors that demonstrate bias against persons because of, but not limited to, actual or perceived: ability, color, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, national origin, race, religion and/or sexual orientation.

Examples may include defacement of posters or signs, comments or messages, jokes or humor, vandalism to personal or university property, or similar acts if there is evidence that the target of the incident was chosen because of a characteristic such as those listed above.

Submit an Official Report regarding an Incident of Bias or Discrimination for Cases involving Students

Submit a Report

Submit an Official Report regarding an Incident of Bias or Discrimination for Cases involving Employees

Submit a Report


Understanding pronouns beyond the two options of she/her/hers and he/him/his creates space for experiences and identities outside of the gender binary. Pronouns are one of the ways we portray our identities. When someone asks you to use their pronouns, they are asking for you to respect their identity. Correctly using an individual’s preferred pronoun or using a gender-neutral pronoun if not indicated or unsure is an easy way to show respect and create a welcoming and inclusive space.

It is never safe to make assumptions about an individual’s pronouns based on how they look and how we perceive them. Whether intentional or unintentional, using the wrong pronouns can be hurtful, angering, and seen as a sign of disrespect. It is like saying: “you do not matter to me, and I do not respect you as a person.” Choosing to ignore or disrespect an individual’s pronouns is not only disrespectful and hurtful but also oppressive. It can make a person feel not only disrespected but alienated, dismissed, invalidate or dysphoric.

It is OK if you made a mistake. Let's discuss what you do next.

If you realize the mistake at that moment, you can say, “Sorry, I meant (insert pronoun).” If you become aware after the fact, apologize in private and move on.

Do not make your apology an event of mass proportion. Though you may feel bad, it is not the responsibility of the misgendered to make you feel better.

Take an active role in your classes and correct students using the wrong pronoun. In the classroom, you can say, "Logan uses the pronoun he," and continue the discussion.

If a faculty or staff member or student uses the wrong pronoun, do not ignore their error. Ask the person misgendered if they would like your help in correcting that person. You can approach the person and say, “I noticed you were getting referred to with the wrong pronoun earlier, and I know that could be hurtful. Would it be OK if I take them to the side and remind them about your pronouns?”

Asking for someone’s pronouns is as easy as saying: “Which pronouns do you use?” You can start the conversation by introducing yourself using your pronouns, for example, “Hi, my name is Professor Guiterrez, and I use the pronouns she/her/hers.”

You can also say, “I ask everybody this question” or “I don’t make any assumptions about the pronouns people use; which pronouns would you like me to use for you?”

Don’t panic over the pronunciation, while there are common ways to pronounce these pronouns, there are many variations, so it is best to ask. If someone trusts you enough to share their pronouns with you, you should feel comfortable asking for clarification if you need it. For example, “Hey there, Doc, I noticed the pronoun “x-e” on your nametag, and I want to make sure I am pronouncing that right. Can you tell me how you pronounce it?”.

You also may find yourself in a situation where you hear a pronoun you aren’t familiar with and do not know how to use. Try this: “Doc, I heard you say you use “ze/zir” pronouns, and I want to make sure I am using them correctly. Can you help me?”. Once someone shares a new set of pronouns with you, make sure to take some time on your own to practice them in a few different sentences.

  • when introducing yourself
  • email signature
  • business cards
  • online (social media bios, name on zoom)
  • pins/badges/buttons
  • name tags

Normalize asking everyone what their pronouns are regardless of their appearance. Not just people you are unsure of. As spaces change, checking in again with what someone else’s pronouns are.

It is okay not to know what pronouns you would prefer to use for yourself, and it’s okay if your pronouns change. The most important thing is to educate yourself and learn what makes you feel seen and understood. There is a wealth of resources about the meaning of different pronouns. This page is a good place to start. It is okay to try out different pronouns as you learn what fits best.

Here is a list of options to start with.


The resources below are from recommended local providers of transgender care and education. If you know of updates or other information that should be on this page, please contact us via our email or by calling us at 410-704-0203.

If you have suggestions for updating this page and its resources please fill out the feedback form.

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