Using gender-inclusive language shows that you are welcoming to trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people. And it’s really easy to do:
- Avoid using “sir” or “ma’am.”
Examples: Greet people with, “Good morning,” “Hi there,” or "How are you today?" To get someone’s attention, you can just say “excuse me.”
- Replace “ladies and gentlemen” with “everyone” or “folks.” Or, just skip it.
Examples: If you’re starting a video meeting, say “Welcome, everyone.” Or, if you’re an emcee on a stage, just say “Welcome!”
- Replace “you guys” with “everyone,” “you all,” or the number of people you’re referring to. Examples: If you’re with a group of your friends, say “What are you three up to?” Or, if you’re leaving a party, you can say, “See you all later!”
- Replace “boys and girls” with “kids” or “students.”
Examples: If you’re a teacher, address your class as students. If you’re a parent, address your children and their friends as kids.
- Replace “women and men” with “people” when possible.
Examples: Say “people who can get pregnant” instead of women, if that’s what you mean.
- Skip gendered titles like “Mr.” or “Ms.” in emails and letters. Instead, use people's first and last names, and save courtesy titles until after you ask what theirs is.
- Replace gendered job titles with gender-inclusive ones.
- stewardess and steward → flight attendant
- waitress and waiter → server
- policewoman and policeman → police officer
- saleswoman and salesman → salesperson or sales representative
- Don’t assume the gender of someone you’ve never met — you can use “they/them” until you know their pronouns.
Example: when making an appointment with a nurse or doctor, say, “When can I see them?”
- Always use the correct pronouns when talking to or about someone.
If you don’t know their pronouns, just ask. Or say, “My pronouns are she/her, what are yours?”
Learn more about terms, labels, and language related to transgender identities.