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Communicating Chosen Names & Pronouns

Below includes tips for communicating with professors regarding chosen names and pronouns


We recommend calling students by last name or, if needed, last name first initial, until you are able to give students the opportunity to identify to you their chosen names and pronouns. These steps will avoid deadnaming (calling someone by the name they were required to use before coming out as transgender/non-binary, often associated with traumatic memories) or misgendering (calling someone by the incorrect gender pronouns, which can be very harmful to their sense of self and belonging). 
You can find further information about the needs for these inclusive practices here or by contacting



The Chosen Name and Pronouns Working Group is tasked with working to improve the use of chosen names and pronouns in OSU systems. While projects are still underway, we encourage our transgender and non-binary students to notify professors of their chosen name and pronouns so as to avoid deadnaming and misgendering. This can be in the form of an email or visiting the professor during office hours. 


Feel free to use the following sample template for sending this email:


Hello [insert professor’s name and title here, use Dr. if they have a PhD],


I am taking your course [title and number] and am emailing to let you know that I identify as [insert identity here]. That means that my name will likely show up in your roster as [insert legal/dead name here], but I go by [insert chosen name here] and use [insert pronouns here] pronouns. I will be submitting assignments as [insert chosen name here] and would like to only be referred to as [insert chosen name here] in class.

If you have questions, please contact me at [insert email address] or [insert phone number]. OSU also has a staff specialist on LGBTQ issues that would be happy to answer questions, as well as a Chosen Name and Pronouns Working Group who is tasked with improving these methods of communication on campus. You can find out more at 

Thank you for supporting and respecting my identity during this time,

[insert chosen name here]


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