So I thought this article did not go nearly far enough (way too 101, and undetailed; also, inclusive of “genders” not *people*?), so I wrote up my own guide:
- Pronouns aren’t a be-all end-all, but they are a basic courtesy.
- Restroom access is fundamental: Make gender-neutral restrooms available, allow “switching” between differently-gendered restrooms, and never point to restroom choice as a sign of a “real”/“aligned” gender. Genderfluid people exist, and “pick the one most appropriate and stick with it” is *not* reasonable accommodation.
- Dress codes are similarly an immediate major stumbling block. Be clear about expectations (when is a belt needed?) without tying them to gender: If need be, just describe two major “styles.” And if there are on-site locker rooms/changing areas, see above about restroom access and gender.
- Years of coworkers/employers “forgetting” or refusing to acknowledge a non-binary person’s gender identity points to need for a) ongoing training, both on hire and throughout employment; b) proper procedures for reporting and having something done, without backfiring on whistleblowers. Consult with organizations like the Transgender Law Center, or find local trans/gender non-conforming/non-binary workplace education workshop providers.
- This one shouldn’t have to be said, but it really does: Make absolutely clear no one is to pry, speculate, or otherwise talk about people’s bodies, genitals, and medical status. Never assume someone hasn’t “started anything” or that you can tell their birth assignment - even if you know their current legal marker. Firmly shut down all “curiosity” as inappropriate in the workplace.
- Always use the person’s pronouns and name in reports and internal writing. The only place that needs legal gender and legal name is actual legal paperwork - and no, documents that “might be confusing if needed in court but under a different name” is not acceptable. Just write a simple “AKA” note explaining that despite being legally known as Z, this person *is* and will be referred to as who they are, and leave that in their file. (Yes, this means anyone who writes a report must not misgender their coworker/employee. Yes, training needs to be for everyone, period.)
Those are the raw basic necessities. Want to be more proactively inclusive? Try these:
- Update your paperwork and database software, too. Never have forms/records default to printing legal gender. Have a separate, higher-priority field to track *actual* gender identity. Same for preferred vs legal name.
- Same for honorific: Let people select “no title” or an alternative like Mx. or Per. or Ind. or M. or something else.
- Check your wording. Update both written and spoken language:
* “he or she”; “s/he” ➡️ they
* “ladies and gentlemen”; “guys (and girls)” ➡️ distinguished guests; everyone
- Actually shift your culture. Learn about “jokes” that are extremely hurtful (like how “men in dresses” contributes to the murder of trans women) and make them unacceptable. Keep an eye on jokes about gender in general and how they make people feel - and how they might be assuming gender = biology.
- Consider observing annual events like the Transgender Day of Remembrance for the year’s murdered, or the Trans Day of Celebration. Just a mention can be meaningful. And be understanding if a trans or non-binary employee wants that day off or is emotionally affected around that time.
Most of all, firmly establish that non-binary people are not to be resented for who they are, and are not unreasonable or seeking “special treatment” for needing basic accommodations to be respected and able to participate on an equal level in this heavily binary-gendered world.
i dont say this often enough so thanks everyone for being so nice about and to rabbit. he’s been with me for… a really long time and is very precious to me and it warms my heart to know that so many people are like. welcoming towards him. he gets really happy whenever people talk to or about him and that makes me happy so??? thanks