I recently attended a superb webinar put on by two Fox Rothschild partners, Colleen McGarry and Brian McGinnis, with an update on LGBTQIA+ issues in the law. I look forward to their webinar each year to understand how the legal landscape is evolving on all types of gender related issues.

One tool that Colleen and Brian have created is a glossary for companies and individuals to use as a resource to help gain fluency in the ever-evolving language relevant to the LGBTQIA+ community. I have been using parts of this glossary in my Sexual Harassment Prevention Trainings, to educate manager and supervisors on what terms mean, and which terms are currently disfavored (and why). I find it super helpful.

One excerpt from the glossary explains the importance of grammar and inclusive language.

As a matter of fundamental respect, it is important to always use inclusive, respectful, and people-centered language that acknowledges the validity of someone’s identity. For example, the word “transgender” is an adjective (i.e., a person is transgender; they are not “a transgender” or “transgendered,” which are disfavored, harmful terms). This includes using someone’s correct pronouns and asking for someone’s correct pronouns instead of simply assuming what they are. It also includes referring to someone by their correct name. “Deadnaming,” or the act of referring to a transgender person who has changed their name to reflect their identity by their name at birth, is disrespectful and can be harmful.

In my practice, I often find that well intentioned managers often trip themselves up because of lack of familiarity with inclusive terms or approaches. If your team faces that issue, this glossary may be a helpful tool. I understand it may soon be updated for 2024!

In the meantime, let’s all use Pride Month as an opportunity to put renewed energy into inclusion, to ensure that all identities ​​are not only welcomed but also celebrated in your workplace.