Pronouns and gender are not the same

She/her pronouns don’t always mean women.

He/him pronouns don’t always equal men.

They/them pronouns aren’t just exclusive to non-binary people.

Pronouns are words that can be used as noun phrases that refer to a person. Gender is a characteristic with a range of femininity, masculinity, and neutrality used to identify an individual (for example, woman, man, non-binary).

The implication of pronouns belonging to only one gender, such as “he/him pronouns are guy pronouns” is harmful because he/him pronouns are not only used by men. People under the trans/non-binary umbrella use these pronouns too. Some women also don’t mind using he/him pronouns.

Many people use different variations of pronouns to refer to themselves to match their gender identity, such as he/they. Some people use any pronouns, while other people use neopronouns, a different category of neologistic English personal pronouns beyond the conventional pronouns such as xe/xem, ze/zir, ve/ver, etc.)

Although pronouns such as she/her are commonly associated with and used by women, someone who does not identify as a woman could still use she/her pronouns, for example. 

As another example, a non-binary person could use “any pronouns.” Calling them by she/her or he/him pronouns does not make them female nor male. They still remain a non-binary person.

A cis-gender women can also go by she/they pronouns and still be perceived as a cis-gender female. They/them pronouns don’t automatically mean someone is non-binary. Rather, they/them is just another set of pronouns that the person doesn’t mind being called.

As society evolves so will words and terminology. People will grow as they find themselves, and that includes gender identity. As progress occurs we should keep helping to bring awareness to these common misconceptions. 

Gender and pronouns are two different things, and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions based on what people want to be called.