19 May 2023

IDAHOBIT: The International Day Against LGBTQIA+ Discrimination!

By Zhoujie Ding and Lenka Vodstrcil, Co-Chairs of the CCS Gender, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Pride Week coincides with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). Acknowledged worldwide since 2004, this day of global awareness takes place each year on 17 May, a significant date in the ongoing fight for equality. At Monash, we honour IDAHOBIT within Pride Week (15-19 May).

As part of the event, an in-person Pronoun Pro Training for Monash staff and students at the Alfred Precinct was organised by the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Diversity & Inclusion committee. This interactive training session was led by Natalie Charlotte Sist from the Respectful Communities Team at Monash. 

At the training, we learned about the importance of using proper pronouns, which is one of the simplest things we can do to show respect and promote inclusive atmosphere and how misgendering can cause a lot of distress. We need to remember that pronouns do not equate to gender and gender-neutral pronouns are always a polite and easy way to refer to someone until you know what pronouns they use. Sometimes people choose to use neo-pronouns (see examples below in the table) as an alternative gender-neutral pronoun set. Therefore, as allies, it is important to know and practice these pronouns as well.

Examples of gendered pronouns, gender-neutral pronouns and neo-pronouns. Source: Pride Training website

As an ally, try to introduce yourself by starting with ‘hello, my name is ___ and my pronouns are ___’. This will give opportunity to the person that you are talking to, to choose to openly use their pronouns or not. In addition, it is a good practice to display your pronouns in some way at your workplace, or in a professional setting, such as in your email signature or Zoom username. Most importantly, we need to practice, practice, and practice! Now that you've got the basics, start trying to use the correct pronouns where possible.
Resources: https://www.minus18.org.au/pronouns/ (a good app to help you familiarise with the pronouns including neo-pronouns)

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