BURNABY—With the release of a new online video during Pride week, CUPE BC is working to inform members and the broader public of the appropriate use of gender pronouns that honours how individuals identify themselves. As our union celebrates pride and diversity with all LGBTQ comrades, the video provides guidance on how to be respectful of transgender people.
“It is an important message for all union members and the public as British Columbians continue to strive to be a more inclusive and respectful province,” said CUPE BC Secretary Treasurer Trevor Davies. “How we talk to and about each other is part of that ongoing process of building a movement where all can participate.”
An initiative of CUPE BC’s Pink Triangle working group, the video features human rights lawyer, community activist and CUPE Local 1004 member Adrienne Smith explaining how easy it is to make sure you are using the proper pronoun. Smith will be joining Premier John Horgan as the BC NDP’s official Pride Ambassador in the 2017 Vancouver Pride Parade.
“Asking people’s pronouns doesn’t need to be complicated or scary,” said Smith. “It can be like this: ‘Hi, my name is Adrienne, nice to meet you. What pronoun do you use? I use they, them, and their.’ Now that you have asked and you know, you can work towards using those pronouns all the time.”
At CUPE BC’s 2016 Convention, delegates unanimously passed a constitutional amendment to remove and change all gender pronouns like ‘he’ and ‘she’. For CUPE BC, it was a simple step but a significant one towards building an inclusive movement.
“We remain committed as a labour movement to fighting transphobia,” said Davies. “Solidarity means making certain each and every member of our community feel welcome.”