Using Preferred Pronouns Helps Make Us a Welcoming Agency for All People
Pronouns (words like “he/him/his”, “she/her/hers” and “they/them/theirs”) are used in place of proper names. In English, these words also convey information about the gender of the person being referred to. In addition to providing our pronouns, we often ask our partners, clients and caregivers to provide theirs because we realize that our assumptions about someone’s gender identity and their preferred pronouns may not always be correct. Click here to go to MyPronouns.org for more information and a wider array of potential pronouns.
Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, a growing segment of the older adult population, are more likely to be mistakenly mis-gendered and, as a result, may not feel safe or respected. LGBT+ older adults, including the heroes of Stonewall and the early gay rights movement, and LGBT+-identified caregivers are often hesitant to access services or benefits because they fear stigma or harassment and may experience social isolation and worse health outcomes as a result. As part of AgeOptions’ goal to develop culturally competent programming and responsive resources that empower everyone we serve to thrive as they age, we are committed to working toward becoming an agency that affirms the gender identity of everyone we interact with.
AgeOptions has received SAGECare Platinum certification, a distinction recognizing organizational competency to serve LGBT+ older adults. SAGECare is a division of SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders), the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT+ older adults.