This morning my almost-17-year-old came downstairs, iPhone in hand and glee in heart, to show me that she’d added pronouns to my contact info.
It turns out that after a long time of people requesting support for pronouns, Apple finally introduced it with iOS 17:
iOS 17 introduces a widely requested feature to the Contacts app in the form of a new pronouns field.
People often include pronoun preferences in email signatures and on social media, but saving this information to the Contacts app meant manually creating a field in the notes section. Now there’s a preset field where pronoun preferences can be saved.
The pronouns field isn’t just useful with contact cards for others; you can add your own pronoun preferences to your personal contact card as well. Once doing so, your pronoun preferences will be shared along with your other contact information when you trade cards with someone.
It looks like this:
Now when I call my kid, the first image above will appear on her screen. But don’t worry; she’s not in trouble until I use her middle name.
To point out the obvious: If you are deathly afraid of pronouns, say if you’re Pierre Poilievre or anyone inspired non-ironically by Scott Moe who, is should be said, took his advice from one lone American expert (with apologies to dictionaries everywhere) to deny Saskatchewan kids their fundamental rights to privacy and security of the person, you do not in fact need to burn your iPhone. You can just ignore that field in your contacts.
But that’s not the obvious. What should jump at you from the previous paragraph is that I am perfectly capable of writing long-ass sentences. Also that actual normal healthy people in Canada aren’t at all supportive of those radical anti-children policies. On Saturday we were supposed to have a second anti-trans-kids million people march (with apologies to mathematics) and roughly nobody showed up. It appears the plans were cancelled at the last minute. Maybe the organizers were afraid they’d look stupid and retreated.
Yes, I know. They look stupid regardless.
Did I mention how proud of my kids I am? They knew about this Apple pronoun support before I did. And I’m pretty up on this stuff.
I quickly added pronouns for my kids et pour mon bien-aimé, and going forward I will add them for new people whose contact information I get, as well as to the ones I already have in my phone. Granted, this may take a while. But yes, I plan on asking people what their pronouns are. I already do that when I meet my kids’ friends. They say I’m the only parent they know who does that.
I don’t want to be alone anymore and I’m asking for your help.
People appreciate being asked — except for the bigots who melt on the spot, and frankly it’s always better to know who those people are so please go ahead and join me in asking for pronouns. Not “preferred” pronouns. Just pronouns. A person’s gender identity is not capricious. It’s fundamental to who they are.
“Oh, hi, Jack. Nice to meet you. What are your pronouns? Mine are they/them.”
It helps normalize life for the gender diverse and it shows, in a way that can’t be faked because bigots are incapable of lying convincingly about this, that you are in fact a kind and open-hearted human.