Nonbinary pronouns are used by individuals whose gender identity exists outside the male/female binary. Commonly used nonbinary pronouns include they/them/theirs and ze/hir/hirs.

MCAD is committed to the principles of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI). Many members of MCAD’s community identify as nonbinary, and the college believes in using pronouns respectfully. 

This chart shows examples of traditional and nonbinary pronouns and how to use them:

NominativeObjectivePossessive DeterminerPossessive PronounReflexive


How do I know which pronouns to use?

It is important to ask an individual which pronoun they use to reflect their gender identity, instead of assuming based on their appearance. Try, “What pronouns do you use?” or “My name is ____ and my pronouns are he and him. What about you?”

What if I make a mistake?

If you realize a mistake in the moment, give a quick apology and correction and continue on. If you realize the mistake later, share a brief apology, such as, “Sorry I used your wrong pronoun earlier. I’ll be more mindful next time.” It can be a challenge to remember pronouns at first, but it gets easier with practice. Correct pronoun use is a step everyone can take toward showing respect for others’ gender identities.

What is the difference between gender identity, gender expression, and sex?

Gender identity is a person's internal, deeply held sense of their gender. Most people identity as male or female, however for some people, their gender identity does not fit neatly into one of those two choices.

Gender expression is the external manifestation of gender, expressed through a person's name, pronouns, clothing, haircut, behavior, voice, and/or body characteristics. Typically, transgender people seek to align their gender expression with their gender identity, rather than the sex they were assigned at birth.

Sex is the classification of a person as male or female. At birth, infants are assigned a sex based on their external anatomy.

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