Diversity’s Latest Frontier – Nonbinary People and the Use of Pronouns – 6 Points and Resources

One reason I love working in the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) field is because it continues to grow and evolve. It is exciting to consult and train in an area that does not remain stagnant, but brings new challenges each year.

One topic I have been really enjoying is the growing awareness and presence of nonbinary people and use of pronouns. In fact, last June, I got more LGBTQ Pride Month speaking requests for this topic than any other!

What is this all about? Simply put, all aspects of humanity are on a spectrum and not always one way of the other. Society in general for so long has insisted that someone is either a man or woman, is either male or female. In reality, many people deep in their core feel that are a combination of genders or no gender at all. A few years ago, this concept was referred to as “gender nonbinary,” but now the best terminology is simply “nonbinary.”

Here are some points and resources around nonbinary people:

1) There are different terms that some people use in place of nonbinary. They include Genderqueer and Gender Expansive.

2) Many nonbinary people use the pronoun “they” instead of identifying with he or she. If a nonbinary person lets you know that they use the pronoun “they,” it is respectful to then refer to them as “they” when talking about them.

Two time US pairs figure skating champion and 2022 Olympian Timothy Leduc (tall person in the middle) has recently come out as nonbinary. Link to article.

3) Miriam-Webster’s Dictionary listed “they” used as singular non-gendered pronoun as their “word of the year” in 2019! Read the article here.

4) The leading LGBTQ+ Workplace Advocacy organization Out and Equal Workplace Advocate makes available a comprehensive guide for use of pronouns in the workplace. This resource (link) is focused on practical guidance for  implementing successful practices and norms around pronouns in the workplace.

5) Companies and organizations wanting to attract bright young talent need to make sure the language they use in recruiting and job postings are inclusive of nonbinary people and those who support them. Instead of using “he or she” when writing about job responsibilities, simply use “they.”

6) Even when speaking to an audience, starting off with “ladies and gentlemen” is not inclusive. It is better to address an audience with “Greetings distinguished guests” or “Hello everyone!” In her new book “Inclusive 360 – Proven Solutions for an Equitable Organization” (read my blog about this fantastic book), Bernadette Smith gives lots of advice for interacting with nonbinary employees and customers.

Bottom line – it is all about respect! There should be no difficulty in treating people and addressing people are they want to be treated and addressed.

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Do please be in touch ([email protected]) if I can provide a training session for your team on use of pronouns. I love speaking on this topic. Thanks! Stan Kimer (he / him)

Happy New Year! My Top 7 blogs of 2021

This is now one of my blog traditions! Every year for the past several around New Year’s, I share my top 7 most read blogs of the year. It is really fun to go back and pull my website stats to see what people read the most. And for the first time ever, all of the top blogs were published before this year, and people found them via google search.

Quick stats about his year’s list:
• Five of the 7 dealt with some general aspect of diversity
• Two of the 7 dealt with diversity within sports
• For four of the 7, I had a collaborator assisting me with the content

Here are the seven most read of 2021, starting with number 7 and working up to number one. At the bottom I will give an honorable mention to the top blog published in 2021

7) This year’s number 7 was written in 2019 – a book review titled A new fantastic book in inclusive leadership: “How to be an Inclusive Leader” by Jennifer Brown. I often use industry leading consultant Jennifer Brown’s material when I teach about inclusive leadership.

6) A guest blog written in 2018 by my cousin Brandon, who has a masters degree in social work and now works in the Federal Prison System – Five Misconceptions about Atheists from my Experience: A guest blog by Brandon Garrick.

5) “Five Things Never to Say to Hispanic People” is a companion piece to this year’s number one blog, guest written by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado. It probably hit the top 7 list for the first time since people could link to it from the top blog.

4) My fourth most popular blog was also 2019’s number 4, but it did not make the list last year – “Three Wonderful Recent Examples of Diversity and Sports,” in which I provide short summaries with links about an NFL football player with one hand, an WNBA player who is a new mother with her wife, and a college track star who overcame a harsh abusive upbringing in Africa.

3) I received excellent assistance from local activist and Muslim woman Zainab Baloch for the third most read blog (with over 2,000 hits) and published in 2018, “Five Things To Never Say To a Muslim.”

2) Last year’s number one is now number 2. With over 4,500 hits across the two blogs were 2018’s Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman) and my 2016 personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.” With 2022 being an Oympic year, I plan to write my third installment of this series in January.

1) With the growing number and visibility of Hispanic Americans, Number 2 for the previous three years now made it to number 1 in 2021 with over 6,500 hits! “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People”, a guest piece written in 2016 by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.

Since none of the few dozen blogs I wrote in 2021 made it into the top seven, I will give honorable mention to the top 2021-written blog, a book review – A Diversity Book Truly for EVERYONE – “Empowering Differences” by Ashley T. Brundage.

I wish all of my faithful readers a happy and hopefully COVID-free 2022.

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