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Instagram now allows users to add pronouns to their bios. Here's why that matters.

ally instagram pronouns May 20, 2021

On May 11, Instagram announced that there is now a dedicated section for users to add pronouns to their profiles. To prevent people from adding anything offensive or inappropriate, the app limits what pronouns can be used.

However, there are dozens of options, including she/her, him/his, co/cos, ze/zir, per/pers and they/them. Users can select up to four. According to Mashable, Instagram worked with organizations like PFLAG, GLAAD and the Trevor Project to create its list of pronouns. The company also plans to keep adding more.

Anyone who doesn't see a pronoun they use can submit a request to have it added. Users can also select whether everyone can view their pronouns or if they only want their followers to see them. For users under 18, the app will automatically restrict it to followers. Right now, the pronoun option is only available in a few countries, but Instagram said it plans to add more.

"We are giving people more tools to express themselves on Instagram," a Facebook company spokesperson told Mashable. "Sharing pronouns has been widely adopted by our community, and with this feature we hope to normalize the adoption further." Until now, many Instagram users were putting pronouns in the box designated for their 150-word bios. Not only are users excited that the pronoun section frees up space for them to add more information, but they are also celebrating this important step in normalizing the importance of sharing and asking for pronouns, rather than making assumptions about someone's gender.

"Pronouns are an important tool for not just gender expression, but comfort and safety," wrote Mey Rude in Advocate. "Being misgendered in public spaces can put trans people in danger and is in itself an act of violence. Furthermore, for many, online spaces are the only ones where they can truly express their gender, and allowing users to state their pronouns gives them more freedom to do that."

Adding pronouns is something anyone who feels comfortable can start doing. It is not only for those who identify as transgender and/or nonbinary. In fact, sharing your pronouns is a great way for cisgender people to show allyship.

If you are a wedding vendor, chances are couples will check out your Instagram page when thinking about whether or not to hire you. Having your pronouns in your bio is one way to signal that you are affirming and inclusive of LGBTQ+ people and couples.

Nevertheless, Kelly Martinez of Buzzfeed reminded readers that no one should feel pressured to add pronouns if they are still exploring who they are or if they are simply not ready to share them publicly.

—Molly Sprayregen

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