Catholic Organization Adopts Policy of Pronoun Identification
A national Catholic lobbying organization has added pronouns to the data included in email signatures and business cards, signaling a major move toward trans inclusivity.
NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C., decided to add pronouns in their staff email signatures as a way to show solidarity and outward allyship to the LGBTQ community. Their Communications Team explained:
“We know that gender norms and privileges permeate our society. When you see our pronouns in our email signatures (and other places), know that it is an indication that we recognize and affirm the diversity of gender identities and expressions… Proactively declaring pronouns is a small action we can take to convey our belief that all people are created in God’s image. NETWORK views this as another way that we may live out our mission of promoting justice and the dignity of all. We encourage other members of our community to make similar changes.
“One of the most fundamental ways we can show respect and love for one another is to consciously use language that affirms each other’s identities. We continue looking for ways that we can be more conscientious and more inclusive in our communication.”
A move like this one is a major step for among Catholic organizations, even one that is relativiely progressive. While individuals may have shown more signs of sensitivity on issues surrounding gender identity, rarely is such a show of solidarity seen at an organizational level.
For more information on the reason for identifying one’s pronouns, click here.
Including pronouns as a means of introduction, or including them in contact information, is becoming more popular among LGBTQ-inclusive circles. NETWORK explained why the change as important to them:
“Proactively declaring pronouns is a small action we can take to convey our belief that all people are created in God’s image. NETWORK views this as another way that we may live out our mission of promoting justice and the dignity of all. We encourage other members of our community to make similar changes.
“One of the most fundamental ways we can show respect and love for one another is to consciously use language that affirms each other’s identities.”
NETWORK is probably best known for the national “Nuns on the Bus” campaign encouraging Catholics and others to be involved in the political process as a way of seeking justice. The organization’s director, Sister Simone Campbell, is a strong advocate for LGBTQ equality, and has been featured in many blog posts here on Bondings 2.0.
As Bondings 2.0 has noted before, respecting what trans people want to be called is integral in upholding and maintaining the trans community as people made in the image of God.
NETWORK’s example is one all Catholic organizations should embrace. Little steps toward inclusion eventually compound for a greater change. If the church is to fully love each member as it should, trans inclusivity needs to be at the forefront of our concerns.
–Lindsay Hueston, New Ways Ministry, January 17, 2019
This development is huge, although not surprising. Network’s example should be emulated by other Catholic organizations — certainly those that see themselves as advocates for social justice.
Good for NETWORK. I never thought of this for the Quixote Center, even though we were on the cutting edge of lesbian/gay rights in the mid 70s. Duh.