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Language

Within GPS sections we use certain language tools to help participants challenge the power of language. We believe that gendered words in society contain a lot of hidden meaning, and that "gender-intentional" language can allow us to focus on the content of others’ stories rather than projecting our own associations onto them. Furthermore, we see these language tools as a way of dismantling cisnormative assumptions about sex, gender, and gender presentation.

In section, we use the singular "they" pronoun rather than "he" or "she" and words like "partner" instead of "boyfriend"/"girlfriend" or "parent" rather than "mom"/"dad."

Instead of reflexively gendering subjects, we ask participants "why?" We encourage participants to interrogate what aspects of gender are important in their narrative. Instead of saying "a man" or "a woman," participants are encouraged to say things like "a person who I read as feminine," "my brother who was socialized as a man," or "my friend who identifies as agender." By using this language, the participant does not make assumptions about the person's identity, genitalia, or experience.