Workshop will explore inclusive language, pronoun use

November 03, 2020

Image with caption: Jessi Hitchins, PhD, director of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, will speak at virtual event.

Jessi Hitchins, PhD, director of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, will speak at virtual event.

The UNMC Student Pride Alliance will host a virtual "LGBTQIA2S+ 101" workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 4, from noon-1 p.m.

Jessi Hitchins, PhD, director of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, will speak about issues facing the LGBTQIA2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual, two-spirit and other affirmative ways to self-identify) community, as well as offering guidance on the basics of pronouns, the use of inclusive language and other topics.

Access the Zoom information.

In the United States, an estimated 11.3 million individuals self-identify as LGBTQIA2S+ -- and that number is "a gross underestimation of the actual number of people who are part of the community," said Andrew Lim, one of the event organizers. "Sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data are rarely asked in research studies and health settings, so it is difficult to estimate the true number of individuals in the community, as well as identifying their health needs."

Lim, a UNMC College of Nursing PhD student, said that LGBTQIA2S+ people face health disparities in areas from mental health to cancer care, and that many health professionals and students are hesitant to ask about SOGI information -- "whether due to lack of knowledge, implicit bias or fear of offending their clients. This workshop is a great introduction to basic terminologies that are currently used in this community."

The workshop will include:

  • Appropriate pronouns;
  • How to ask people what their preferred pronouns are;
  • How to use inclusive language (for example: "staffing" the front desk instead of "manning" the front desk); and
  • The difference between gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

"We hope attendees can leave the workshop equipped with a knowledge of terminologies and a willingness to start consciously practicing using inclusive language, which also can be applicable to other marginalized population," Lim said. "We also hope that attendees feel more confident in asking about SOGI information and acknowledging specific health needs of LGBTQIA2S+ people, so that they can provide a culturally appropriate care for this marginalized population."

This is the first in the workshop series planned by the UNMC Student Pride Alliance. Future topics will include transgender issues, safe space, social justice, allyship and other LGBTQIA2S+ issues.

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UNMC Today Editor
November 04, 2020 at 1:33 PM

The event was recorded, although due to technical issues, about 10 minutes at the beginning of the presentation was not recorded. The recording will be posted to the UNMC Student Pride Alliance ENGAGE page shortly.

Lyndsey
November 04, 2020 at 1:20 PM

Was this recorded by any chance?