There was a time not so long ago when people and businesses didn’t much care about being gender inclusive. They would often lay out rules for each gender and expect them to adhere to the rules, but those days are coming to an end. Now, people are fortunately more focused on making everyone feel included at all times, regardless of how they identify.
For those that didn’t grow up around this modern way of inclusion, it can be a little confusing, even if you mean well. If you want to work toward being more gender inclusive but aren’t quite sure where to start, we have some tips. Here are five ways that you can be more gender inclusive in your everyday life, from your home to the workplace.
Toys Not Targeted Towards Gender
If you watch television or browse the internet, odds are you will have come across ads for children’s toys and various gadgets. One thing that may also grab your attention is the lack of gender inclusivity within those ads.
In our modern day, people have begun coming to terms with the reality that children’s toys should be gender-neutral. It’s no longer quite such a foreign concept that anyone can play with dolls, play house, play sports, or play with trucks and race cars.
Sharing Your Pronouns
Sharing your pronouns is essential for gender inclusivity. It’s not an entirely new concept for some, but for modern society, it can be difficult to adhere to the new normal that is gender-neutral speaking.
To make things easier for you and those around you, try practicing sharing your pronouns with those you meet, those you work with, your family, and fellow students. It doesn’t have to be forceful, rude, or pushy. Try gently incorporating your pronouns into the conversation, or kindly remind anyone who misgenders you by mistake. Eventually, it will stick and they’ll hopefully become accustomed to addressing you properly.
Use Gender-Inclusive Speech
Part of being gender inclusive means doing your part so others don’t have to constantly remind you to address them by their proper pronouns. One way to do this without much difficulty and to lessen accidentally misgendering people you care about, or have even just met, is by using gender inclusive speech as the standard when you address others.
Using the terms they, them or other generalized ways to refer to people will prevent feelings from being hurt and keep things simple. If you slip up, take subtle hints and gentle reminders from those around you with stride and try to correct yourself as needed.
Gender-Inclusive Dress Code
An age-old practice that can get in the way of gender inclusivity is that of workplace attire, school attire, and most places that require a formal dress code. Typically stating that men should wear suits, ties, dress pants, and dress shoes.
With women usually being told to wear skirts, dresses, blouses, tights, high heels, or other feminine dress shoes. It’s an outdated standard that nobody really benefits from. Allowing people to dress as they wish, staying within the formal dress theme, is being seen more often and will hopefully be the standard over time.
Gender-Neutral Restrooms and Dressing Rooms
Though littered with controversy, gender-neutral restrooms and dressing rooms are a big step in the right direction when it comes to gender inclusion. There should be a place for everyone, male, female, and those who prefer to remain gender-neutral.
The ability for those on the gender spectrum to use the restroom/dressing room of their choice, or perhaps have their own facilities, is extremely important in ensuring the comfort and safety of those with differing gender identities. Inclusion and change are important and there are ways to reach those heights in ways that make everyone feel at ease.