March 23, 2022
Ash Powers, a Colorado State University fifth-year social work major, said that being more conscious before speaking would help inclusivity.
“We do not know people’s gender the way that gender has been constructed,” they said. “We think we’re able to know people’s genders based on dress or on voice or name.”
Powers explained that neutralizing and expanding on gendered language as we know it will be a major step in the right direction.
“I’ve noticed with folks my age or a little younger that they’ve already been kind of eliminating (gender specific language) or just waiting to use it when they find out someone’s gender,” Powers said.
Patterson said that speaking more generically will allow trans individuals to feel they are part of the conversation.
Saying phrases like “ladies and gentlemen” isn’t necessary anymore, especially since society is less formal, Patterson explained.
Additionally, being supportive and listening is a way to move forward to a more inclusive world.
“I think the best support that friends can give is just to say, ‘I’m going to walk this path with you, even if I don’t understand it,’” Patterson said. “‘I’m going to listen, and I’m going to be a shoulder to cry on, and when things are hard, I’ll be there, and when things are good, I want to hear about it.’”