Gender and Pronoun Tips
Version 1.0. Last updated: 19 Feb 2020
Purpose of this document
The ‘live and let live’ principle states that we welcome all genders at Nibana. We want to clarify what we mean by ‘all genders’. Here’s an explanation, based on The Genderbread Person model. This text is ever evolving, so feedback is more than welcome.
Sex (sometimes called biological, anatomical sex or physical) is about the physical body. It consists of things like genitals, chromosomes, hormones, body hair, and more.
Your psychological sense of self. Who you, in your head, know yourself to be, based on how much you align (or don’t align) with what you understand to be the options for gender. Some common gender identities are male, female, non-binary, gender queer, gender fluid, trans woman, trans man, trans feminine or trans masculine.
The ways you present gender, through your actions, clothing, demeanor, and more. Your outward-facing self, and how that’s interpreted by others based on gender norms.
Who you’re typically attracted to. This could be different on a romantic and on a sexual level. It isn’t really a component of gender, but the labels we use for this often relate to gender.
Pronouns are words that we can used to refer to people, such as she, he and they. In most languages, such as English, these are based on gender, yet gender neutral alternatives are often available.
Referring to someone using a different gender identity. For example by using a different pronoun from the one they use.
- Don’t assume someone’s gender identity based on their anatomical sex or their gender expression.
- Don’t assume someone’s attraction/orientation based on their gender expression.
- If you want to have a conversation with someone about their gender, make sure they enthusiastically consent. They don’t owe you an explanation for who they are.
- If you want to be referred to with a specific pronoun, please communicate this. For example when you introduce yourself one on one or in a circle.
- Whenever someone misgenders you, correct them in a friendly way. However hurtful, please be aware that decades of conditioning won’t disappear in an instant, so people need time to learn this.
- If you are being corrected on misgendering someone, please take it in a light and positive way. Ideally correct yourself and consider thanking them for helping you with this.
Support during or after the festival
Had an experience you want to reflect on or need help with? Have questions about consent? At Nibana there are various ways to reach out for support. Please use them if you feel you could benefit from it. There’s an emotional support team that always offers a listening ear without judgement (fully confidential) and you can always reach out to a coordinator.
You may adapt and share this document
Spreading awareness about gender is important to us. We hope that these guidelines help more people than just those that are attending the festival. Since we have based this document on The Genderbread Person model, you don't have to credit Nibana when you use these guidelines. We still welcome it though.
Attribution: You can give credit to Nibana Festival, provide a link to the version of this document on the Nibana Festival website. If you do, please indicate if changes were made. You may mention us in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests that we endorse you or your use.
ShareAlike: If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
We want to constantly improve these guidelines and very much welcome your feedback. So don't hesitate to get in touch with us and send us your suggestions.