Pronouns

Speak Truth - Expand Pronouns

"When you were born you were given a name and a pronoun, probably he or she.
As you get older and know yourself more and more on the inside some of the ideas of she and he may fit you and some of them may not.....
On the inside, you may not feel like he or she at all, maybe they feels the most free, or you may feel like both she and he.
But mostly you probably just feel like yourself..."

the Pronoun circle - genderwheel.com

Pronouns are a way of extending your gender out into the world. They can be used to bring your true self into greater focus, or maintain fluidity. They can also be used to maintain safety and privacy.

Alone, in your own mind, gender can be pronoun-free and perfectly nonbinary as “I, me, myself.”

Pronouns are power.

Tree is to affirm that we need more words that reflect the deeper meaning of who we are. Especially ones connected to nature. Language is OURS! We must move beyond the binary in how we speak. (Read more about Tree below)


They She He Me and Call Me Tree: Two children's books using pronouns to breakdown gender stereotypes and assumptions

By beginning early and sharing age appropriate books that help kids see through gender assumptions, gender diverse kids can relax and trust that they are perfectly natural and valuable. And kids who are cisgender can know that they are part of a larger picture of natural diversity. This sets the stage for more learning about diversity and inclusion as they develop and helps dismantle gender based bullying before it begins.

They She He Me: Free to Be! - a book exploring pronouns and personal expression


A perfect companion to The Gender Wheel, They She He Me: Free to Be! Check it out if you want to play with pronouns! You may see some familiar faces.

Highlights:

  • shows many gender presentations under each pronoun and invites even more. Includes 47 different kids and their pronouns.
  • The back offers a playful narrative about pronouns for kids as well as some discussion for grown-ups on how to hold a supportive space for kids (and for themselves)

Sample back matter from the book:

Keep inclusive perspectives alive with a poster!

Download the Pronoun Poster

Call Me Tree - exploring gender assumptions


By being intentionally gender free, Call Me Tree provides for some a much needed break from the constant boy-girl assumptions and requirements. It can also provide a moment to pause and consider those assumptions, requirements and their impact.

Highlights:

  • intentionally created without pronouns and main character is referred to as a kid not a boy or a girl.
  • all kids are in nature and in poses inspired by the Yogic Tree pose

Despite the fact that there are no gender specific pronouns, reviewers have assumed the main character is a cisgender boy. The main character is actually based on someone assigned girl. The specificity doesn’t matter as much as the opportunity to notice the assumption.

Many of us assume a child with short hair, dressed in a t-shirt and pants is a cisgender boy. What does an assumption like that fully communicate? About gender requirements? fitting in? living up to expectations? being accepted? Who does it leave out and what is the impact of being excluded?

Call Me Tree also opens up the possibility that it’s ok not to know the gender of a child. No matter what their gender identity may be, what is valuable is that they feel free, strong, a sense of belonging and appreciative of difference and sameness in themselves and others.

For Kids, Call Me Tree offers opportunities to:

  • Become aware of gender assumptions and stereotypes and step away from "guessing" people's pronouns and gender based on stereotypes.
    • Through the letter to readers kids understand that guessing about someone's gender based on how they look can leave a lot of people out.
    • When we introduce that the main character would have been assigned girl at birth, we can ask how does knowing this change their understanding of the other kids in the book?
    • What if we imagined all the kids in the book went by she? What if they all went by he? or they? or tree!?
  • Explore international, multicultural perspectives on gender beyond western ones.
    • The book begins with nature, then connects the kids to their bodies through Yoga, specifically the Tree pose and variations thereof. This provides an opportunity to learn about Yoga and India. We can learn that India has a legal third gender. We can then reflect back on the book and explore the kids’ genders.
    • Gender Series Part 2: Multicultural Awareness provides resources and videos for educators to gain more understanding of gender in other cultures. Also included are coloring pages and book recommendations to share with kids.

Call me tree, Gender Free