Australian High School Praised For Introducing Pronoun Badges To Help Trans Students

Redcliffe State High School/Facebook/PA Images

An Australian high school has been praised for giving pronoun badges to students in a bid to support trans teens.

Redcliffe High School in Brisbane handed out the badges, which say ‘she/her,’ ‘he/him,’ and ‘they/them’, so other students know which pronouns to use when addressing them.

The badges were trialled by LGBTQ+ students in the school last week to promote inclusivity for transgender and non-binary teens.

Redcliffe State High School/Facebook

‘This week, the Redcliffe SHS LGBTQ+ group began their trial of pronoun badges,’ the school explained on Facebook.

‘Pronoun badges are as simple as they sound: they’re badges with different pronouns on. However, their purpose is to display to everyone what those who are wearing them define themselves as. They’re also so that people know what to refer to the wearer as.’

The idea is designed to normalise learning other people’s pronouns, while making it easier for gender non-conforming students to make their pronouns known, without having to repeatedly tell everyone they interact with.

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Since sharing the trial on Facebook, the school has been heaped in praise for its approach to inclusivity.

‘I have no connection to the school, but I saw this shared in a group and just came here to say that as a genderqueer person who uses they/them pronouns, I’m really touched and heartened to see a state school doing this when most of society either looks the other way or ridicules us,’ one Facebook user commented on the post.

‘This means a lot and I’m sure it will make a real difference to kids who identify as genderqueer feeling seen and accepted. Thank you for showing moral leadership on this.’

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Another added, ‘What a fantastic idea. It will help all teachers, especially relief teachers and kids to know upfront. I will see if I can convince my genderqueer son to bring this idea to his own school.’

‘This is such a wonderful initiative,’ a third wrote, while another added, ‘Amazing! Redcliffe High is setting the standard for acceptance.’

The concept of pronoun badges has been trialled in many different education facilities, such as the University of Edinburgh, which first introduced the pins during Freshers 2018 in a bid to prevent new students from being misgendered.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.