Pronoun Sensitivity Means a Lot To The Co-op’s Queer Colleagues

Jax Arnold, Weavers Way Ambler Front End Manager

Photo by Nate Rose
Jax Arnold

What are your pronouns?

Some of you may know me from my many years working on the front end in Chestnut Hill, or in Ambler since the store’s debut. Up until this past year, I went by Jaxson and used he/him pronouns. I now go by Jax and I use she or they pronouns. This means when you are referring to me, you should say, “she is a cashier,” or “they are dynamite.” I am sharing this with you because it is important to myself and other queer colleagues that we feel seen and respected by the members of the community in which we serve.

The sentiment of this article is not for me to come out to those of you who have not heard yet. More importantly, it is to let you know that you can never tell someone’s gender identity from just looking at them. You can guess, but you might be wrong. That assumption, based on the person’s appearance, can be hurtful.

One’s identity is personal; it is an internal experience that can be expressed in various ways. Women can dress more masculine, and you should not assume what their gender is based on that. The use of correct language is one way for people to show us support.

We should normalize the sharing of one’s pronouns as an act of respect and visibility. As a co-op, it is our mission to meet the needs of the community. In that context, I think it is important for us to make a conscious effort to understand and support one another.

I have been out as nonbinary/trans for about a year, and I am still learning a lot about myself and the queer community. Because I have been working at the Co-op for such a long time, it has been challenging and sometimes exhausting coming out to people who have not seen me in a long time.

I want other trans and nonbinary folks to feel welcomed and seen at Weavers Way by their colleagues and community. In recent times, we have all been unlearning our biases and reevaluating the various injustices facing our country. A large amount of our time is spent at work, and we are fortunate enough that the Co-op has been known to be caring and inclusive. But we still have much to do to continue to foster a positive work environment.

If you want to learn more about gender and gender stereotypes, please do some research. Asking your confidantes challenging questions is one way you can fuel your own learning and competencies in queer culture. Your role in being conscious of pronouns is a small yet powerful way to show allyship and support.