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Instagram’s new inclusive feature lets users add their preferred pronouns on their profiles

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published May 12, 2021 4:53 pm

Instagram rolled out its new feature which allows users to display their preferred pronouns on their profiles, a move that was celebrated by users, some of them saying that in the name of inclusivity, “It’s about time.”

“Add pronouns to your profile,” Instagram announced recently. For now, the new feature is available only in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia but it says there are “plans for more.”

Instagram users can add up to four pronouns on their profiles, which they can choose to display publicly or just to their followers. Once they have chosen their preferred pronouns, they will appear in faint gray letters beside their username on their profiles.

The social media platform appears to have an expansive list beyond she/her, he/him, and they/them. According to People, other pronoun options include xe/xem/xyr, ze/hir/hirs, thon/thons, ey/em/eir, fae/faer/faers, and more. For those whose pronouns do not appear in the options, Instagram encourages them to fill out a form and submit it to have them added in the list.

Instagram reportedly consulted with LGBTQ organizations in compiling the list of pronouns and neopronouns like GLAAD, The Trevor Project and PFLAG.

According to mypronouns.org, using someone’s correct pronouns is a way to respect them and create an inclusive environment, just as how using a person’s name as a way to respect them.

Meanwhile, a 2020 study conducted by The Trevor Project shows that one in four LGBT youths uses pronouns or pronoun combinations to express their gender. An individual’s pronoun expression or the decision to avoid them altogether is important in affirming a person’s identity. 

Instagram’s additional feature is another step that could create a huge impact on its diverse users by creating a supportive and accepting environment, which gives them a tool to express themselves and allow society to embrace inclusivity even more.