LGBTQIA+ and iNaturalist

they’re jealous they don’t have as many pockets, clearly!


Just FYI, I’m an “older”/elder and I use queer and gay for myself pretty interchangeably. There are always exceptions!


Anyways I made free icons for allies to use anywhere you want. They’re public domain because I made them and I hate capitalism and I say so. You can download them here:

and request more flags / specific labels to ally with by PMing me here or just commenting on the web archive page if you have an account. You can buy a pre-made pin from my Threadless shop too, they’ll appear here when I’m done uploading them (which will take half an hour probably)

I also make a crap ton of pronoun pins which you can also use as icons anywhere you want:
I was gonna add image previews but then this would be giant.

Feel free to share the links / files on other social medias, anyone can use them!

Edit: For those who don’t know, autigender is a term created by and for autistic people to describe how autism affects our gender identity / the way we perceive and or understand (or don’t) gender. It doesn’t mean autism is a gender you can transition to lol.


Just to make it more apparent, discussion about moderation of several posts in this thread were split into this one in #forum-feedback.


Refusal to use someone’s pronouns is misgendering, for the record. Not that I should have to explain this in 2023 on a thread about LGBTQIA+ people.


I’m so sorry my friend, but in this case I think splitting hairs is warranted. Here’s my take:

first off, in this specific case, @sedgequeen expressed that her decision was due to trauma and distress she has experienced in the past. I really think you should be more lenient towards her, as this is a case in which you both have legitimate boundaries that are conflicting.

refusing to use someone’s pronouns can look one of three ways:

  1. passively not using their correct pronouns.
  2. saying “I’m not going to use your pronouns”.
  3. actively misgendering a person.

all of these are misgendering, but 1) is not inherently hateful and even 2) can be, sometimes, in appropriate context, tolerable. 3) is just hate speech.

1 → passively not using their correct pronouns. maybe they’re lazy. maybe they forgot. correct them. if it becomes truly egregious, then a formal warning is needed. a sign of apathy after the first correction, but about 80% of the time I’ve found that the person was just… ehhhh…
2 → saying “I’m not going to use your pronouns”. this is a very common dog-whistle. it’s used as a way of denying dignity and humanity and agency to trans people. however, it is possible that a person may not be aware of its more sinister meaning. I believe that is true in this case. but the vast majority of the time, it’s being used with malicious intent.
3 → actively misgendering a person. remove that comment and if they do it again suspend them.


I appreciate everyone’s contributions to this conversation and I am learning from all of the links and back and forth how to be a better ally. I hope everyone receives the apologies they deserve.


thank you :)

dog whistles are so malicious because they’re designed to look totally innocent, reasonable, even morally forward. people can use them without even knowing they’re dog whistles. but if you’re the intended target, it hurts every time because you can never be sure if there was hostile intent… and then if you react strongly to, eg., “the parents’ choice of what is age-appropriate” people think you’ve gone off the deep end. because “parents’ choice” is masking “we, the hateful people in power, think it should be a felony to mention within any classroom at any age that gay people exist”. (see: Florida’s “don’t say gay” law).


Please. What is a respectful and polite, neutral pronoun, to use - when I don’t know, and you haven’t told me? In English we can use one, one is hungry it is lunch time here. Is that okay? Or they, is neutral and respectful? Other languages have actively created new neutral pronouns.


‘They/them’ is usually pretty safe as a neutral if you dont know. It kind of pulls double duty both as a plural pronoun and a genderless individual pronoun


To your user name.
10 years ago this artist drew a dragon for me.


Completely true. For the last 4 years we’ve had a lovely pair of dedicated gay male mallard ducks visiting our garden, they behave in just the same way as a male/female pair that also visit. In fact the gay couple are more loving to each other, preening themselves and each other on our lawn, chasing off other mallards that come too close, its lovely! :D Nature is nature whatever the species and love is love.


7 posts were merged into an existing topic: Moderation decisions about several posts in the LGBTQIA+ Thread

If you don’t know someone’s pronouns (in English), they/them is the best way to go, then you can use whatever their pronouns are once they or someone else tells you.


You see someone walking down the street with a cool haircut. Instead of assigning he or she pronouns based on what you assume of their gender, you can say, “Wow, did you see their hair? That was so cool!”

You could also use one, I suppose, but it might confuse people since that’s usually not used in everyday conversation these days.

It would be interesting for a new English pronoun set to be created for specifically when you don’t know someone’s pronouns, but it wouldn’t stay with that specific role for long, lol, I know lots of people who’d immediately snatch it up (positive) to use as a personal pronoun.


Tbh the singular they has been in use for so long in the english language that it really should be a nobrainer; the hullaboo in the media and general US culture right now is entirely manufactured outrage.


A very good quote from the linked article:

“For centuries, this function of they was grammatically accepted. It could transition from plural to singular depending on the situation, similar to the pronoun you. Only in the 18th century did grammarians declare that the singular they was invalid, their reasoning being that a plural pronoun can’t take a singular antecedent. Never mind that you, which used to be exclusively plural, had undergone this exact change.”

5 Likes Going to put this here. Again. Because the 2 posts are still there

1 Like

If you think misgendering trans people is wrong and should not be allowed in this forum, tell staff that on the new thread they made since they don’t want the posts criticizing them to be seen here:

Watch this one get removed too!


"# Misgendering: What it is and why it matters

July 23, 2021

As a cisgender woman with long hair and a closet full of dresses, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been misgendered by being called “he” or “sir.” Cisgender means I was assigned female at birth and identify as a woman. For people who are transgender and/or nonbinary (TNB), with a different gender identity than their assigned sex at birth, being misgendered may be a daily occurrence.

Why does misgendering matter?

Imagine a scenario in which you are called the wrong pronoun or honorific — for example Mr., Ms., or Mrs. — multiple times a day. It might happen in person, over the phone, or via email. Each time it happens, you must decide whether it is worth it to correct that person or easier to let it go. Imagine that you are repeatedly confronted with this experience and the decision of whether or not to correct it throughout the day — every day. As we know from research, and as I’ve also heard from the TNB people I know, this is both exhausting and demoralizing. When people are misgendered, they feel invalidated and unseen. When this happens daily, it becomes a burden that can negatively impact their mental health and their ability to function in the world.

If you are a cisgender person, you can lighten this burden for TNB people by using the right names, pronouns, and honorifics to refer to them, apologizing when you misgender someone, and correcting other people when they misgender someone.

How do you use the correct name, pronouns, and honorifics?

It’s simple: follow the person’s lead, or ask them. The name, pronouns, and honorifics that a person chooses to use for themselves communicate to others how they want to be seen and acknowledged. Using the correct terms for someone is a sign of respect and recognition that you see them as they see themselves.

If you knew someone previously as one gender and now they use a different name, pronouns, or honorifics, it can be hard to remember to use the right terms, especially if the person is gender-fluid and changes their pronouns more often. It can also be challenging to adjust to using gender-neutral pronouns like they and them, neopronouns like ze and zir, and unfamiliar honorifics, such as Mx (pronounced “mix”). But using the right terms is critically important for supporting and respecting TNB people.

A few tips and tools

  • Try not to make assumptions about a person’s name, pronouns, or honorifics based on how they look. The only way to know for sure what terms a person uses is to ask them in private (“What pronouns do you use?”). Asking someone in front of other people may unintentionally put them on the spot to disclose their identity to new people. You can ask anyone — cisgender or TNB — their name, pronouns, or honorifics.
  • Once you know what terms a person uses, the best way to make sure that you use the correct ones is to practice (this tool can help). Practice when they are in the room and when they are not in the room. Practice before you know you will see someone. Practice with others in your life: your cisgender friends, your spouse, your pet, your child. In our household, my wife and I try to use gender-neutral pronouns to refer to our preschooler’s toys and dolls so that we can practice using them ourselves. We even change the pronouns of characters in books that we read as another way to practice.
  • Another tip for remembering to use the correct name, pronouns, and honorifics is to pause before you speak. When we are stressed or busy, we are more likely to misgender people. Try to pause for a beat before you speak to make sure you are using the right terms to refer to someone. Similarly, reread emails before you send them to make sure you are not misgendering someone.
  • Be patient as you learn to use new terms and pronouns. It gets easier with practice and may become second nature over time.

How to apologize for misgendering someone

Misgendering will happen. What’s most important is how you handle it when it does. The best way to handle misgendering someone who is present is to apologize and try harder next time (“I’m sorry, I meant [correct name/pronoun/honorific]”). Keep your apology brief so that it doesn’t become about you and your mistake.

If you are corrected by someone else, try not to be defensive. Instead, simply respond with a thank you and a correction (“Oh, thank you — I’ll email [correct name/pronoun] about that”). This is an important step, even if the misgendered person is not present, so you can practice and so others can learn from your example. Any time you misgender someone, practice so you can do better next time.

How to correct misgendering when you hear or see it

As a cisgender colleague and supervisor to numerous TNB people, many of whom are nonbinary and use they/them pronouns, I often find myself in situations where I need to correct misgendering. I might say something like “I noticed you used she to refer to that person. Just to let you know, they use they/them pronouns.” Or I might write a note in a Zoom chat or in an email, “Just a friendly reminder that this person uses they/them pronouns.” Stepping forward this way lessens the burden of correcting misgendering for TNB people. It also models to others that a correction can be done in a friendly way, and is important for respecting and including TNB people.

How to use gender-neutral language and normalize pronouns

One way to avoid misgendering is to use gender neutral language. Here are some examples:

  • Instead of “boys and girls” or “ladies and gentlemen,” say “everyone.”
  • Instead of “fireman” or “policeman,” say “firefighter” or “police officer.”
  • Instead of “hey guys,” say “hey everyone” or “hey all.”

Try to pay attention to your language and find ways to switch to gender-neutral terms.

You can be mindful of your own pronouns and help other people be mindful by normalizing displays of pronouns. Here are some ways that I make my own pronouns (she/her) visible to others:

  • I list my pronouns in my email signature, in my Zoom name, and on the title page of presentations.
  • I wear a pronoun pin at work.
  • I introduce myself with my pronouns.

These actions signal to others that I am thinking about pronouns, and am aware that people may use different pronouns than might be expected from their appearance.

You may still make mistakes, but it’s important to keep practicing and trying to use the right terms! By using the correct names, pronouns, and honorifics to refer to people, apologizing when you misgender someone, and correcting other people when they misgender, you can support and respect the TNB people around you. This helps create a more inclusive world for everyone."


I’m queer and recently joined INaturalist. It’s disheartening to see others being misgendered and is discouraging when this is a community I would like to be involved with. Listen to queer folks, take down posts misgendering others, and acknowledge the mistakes that were made. We are all here with similar goals and to learn about the world around us. Staff and moderators should be welcoming the response of queer folks as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than getting defensive. Here’s hoping we can all move forward in a more respectful way to everyone in the community.