LGBTQIA+ and iNaturalist

Thanks, nonbinary-naturalist. I learned a lot from your post. Very helpful for those of us who want to be supportive and inclusive but really don’t know much about this topic.


Just want to affirm that your comment you got was not okay. You could try flagging it, though i’ve had mixed results when i flagged instances of me being harassed for unrelated reasons. However I’d hope they would jump on that right away.


We appreciate the suggestion by @nonbinary-naturalist that inaturalist provide a guide or link for how to treat people. We felt sad and startled that it received unsolicited messages about its body.

We would like to emphasize that using a person’s preferred pronouns is a way to meet that person’s needs to be seen, respected, and included.

We understand some people’s fear and confusion about topics like this. Their needs for understanding and shared reality are not met.

If you are one of these people who does not appreciate or understand us, we will not attempt to force you to participate in meeting our needs. And will you please find ways to ask questions or express your feelings rather than criticize, tease, judge, or dictate to us? We can empathize with each other and co-exist even if we don’t agree.

Each time someone criticizes or shames us for using pronouns with which they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable, we participate less. So any efforts to increase inclusion will meet our needs and help amplify our voices

On a practical level, we feel concerned at the inability to see people’s profiles on the inat iphone app. We perceive this as a barrier to easily being able to meet people’s needs for being seen and to self-identify. We are confident this functionality will exist in the future, and right now it does not.


This isn’t an iNat solution, but I recently saw someone format her e-mail signiture like so:

The link goes to which gives some information about why using individual pronouns matters. I think it explained the more common pronouns, but not neopronouns.


@nonbinary-naturalist I’m sorry this happened to you, I responded to the flag yesterday.

I can bring up with our team the idea of linking to a third party resource that has guidelines for how to communicate with trans people in the FAQs and/or Community Guidelines, as I assume there are groups that have already created some and we’d likely base anything on iNat off of those. Are there resources anyone recommends, in addition to

This obviously wouldn’t prevent every message like this from occurring, but may prevent some and would provide an easy reference when communicating with the user.

Profile viewing is definitely something that is planned for the new app.


For learning how to use other pronouns, I’m actually in the middle of writing a collection of short stories called Neopronouns in Action, where each story uses a different set of pronouns, and includes a template at the start for how to use them.

It’s got 46/101 so far, when it’s done I’ll be free for everyone to download and share, as well as being self-published through for people to buy physical copies.

You can read the progress so far on the tumblr blog I made for it:

The stories posted so far are listed in order on the pinned post, and you don’t need a tumblr account to read them :)

Here’s one of the templates I created, explaining how to use ze/hir pronouns:

Neopronouns in action: ze/hir/(hirs)/hirself, which follows the same rules as she/her/(hers)/herself.

“ze” can also be spelled “zhe”, “zi”, or “zee”, and “hir” can also be spelled “hyr” among other variations :) The pronunciation changes depending on the person using them, but “hir” is usually pronounced the same as “hear” or “here”

Replace “She” with “Ze”
Replace “Her” with “Hir”
Replace “Hers” with “Hirs”
Replace “Herself” with “Hirself”


“She is going to adopt a new puppy soon, as soon as she gets a fence set up around her yard so the puppy can go outside without her having to walk it. Her uncle is going to help set up the fence, since he has a set of power tools he’s letting her use, since she lost hers.”


“Ze is going to adopt a new puppy soon, as soon as ze gets a fence set up around hir yard so the puppy can go outside without hir having to walk it. Hir uncle is going to help set up the fence, since he has a set of power tools he’s letting hir use, since ze lots hirs.”

Anyone can use this template, and modify it as necessary :)


Fortunately the person did apologize and we’ve made up :)


Also, folks, Pride Month is coming up very soon and I’d love to feature some iNatters from the LGBTQIA+ community in a few blog posts. Doesn’t have to be much, probably something similar to this post from 2021:

If you’d like to be featured, please message me here, on iNat, or at


That glossary would not be short. The nonbinary world comes up with so many new terms, even other nonbinary people can’t keep up. Partly, I think, this is because experience is so individual and subjective that no two people have quite the same experience. The word you use for your experience will not adequately describe mine.

The thing is, how can a term be explained? If the pronoun is Ze, how can its meaning be defined so that someone who is not a Ze knows what experience it describes? For that matter, how can a binary pronoun like She be defined so that someone who is not a She knows what experience it describes? I have never been a She, so I cannot really know what being a She is like, even though it is a mainstream pronoun that everybody “knows.”


It wouldn’t have to be describing the specific identies of everyone who uses specific pronouns, just showing people how to use those conversations.

And I mean general ideas for what the different labels mean, not explaining every nuance and variation. The glossary would just be to let people have a jumping off point.


It isn’t about knowing what it is like to be . No one really understands how another person inately experiences their gender, not even others of the same gender as themselves!

The definition would be pretty simple: “Ze” is a relatively common gender neutral pronoun, use like you would “he” or “she” or "they’.

@tiwane would there be a way to include pronouns after the profile name both here and iNat? this does take some coding, but Canvas allows it (online course system we use at uni) so I can’t imagine it is impossible coding. :) It looks like this:
Not everyone has them turned on (it’s a toggle button to show or not show) but it’s really nice to have it easy to find without clicking on a profile. Or maybe this should be in the feature requests. lmk!


@ty-sharrow1 definitely we should raise attention at LGBTQ Naturalists!! :) (in case you missed this post)

1 Like

I wanted to highlight this point and elaborate on it.

The short version is, you should never, ever comment on someone’s primary or secondary sexual characteristics unless you have been clearly invited / asked to do so. Someone mentioning that they are trans is NOT an excuse to talk about their genitals or speculate about surgeries. Likewise, if someone presents in a gender-non-conforming way, it is still NOT okay to ask questions that are a thinly veiled attempt to ascertain what their genitalia and/or secondary sexual characteristics are.

You may think this is obvious. Well, it happens to trans folk all the time. When I come out to someone, often one of the earliest things they say is “did you get The Surgery???” or “yeah but… what’s in your pants?” … gross.


Sounds like in that case you had a positive interaction, though it could be exhausting having to do that too many times. I know people usually aren’t malicious, just it’s hard.


But…Gray’s Law: “Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.”

At some point, with how much information is out there at our literal fingertips, choice of ignorance is indistinguishable from maliciousness. And, because we (queerfolx) are continually bombarded by what is actually at this point mostly willing ignorance, it’s no wonder if feels like malice. Intent only matters insofar as when ignorance was not a choice.


yeah, very good points there.


With how much information is out there at our literal fingertips, none of us can possibly assimilate all of it. So we have to pick and choose which categories of information we pursue, and our choice will always seem wrong to somebody.

The book titled A Child Called “It” highlights this. His abuser called him that to dehumanize him.

We should point out, though, that “it” was not his preferred pronoun. That is an important consideration.


This is the thread for LGBTQIA+ naturalists. I specifically revived it to talk about how to respect trans people. I don’t think announcing you’re not going to use my pronouns is a post that belongs here.

Using my pronouns is not difficult. Especially if you’re not likely to talk about me in the first place.

You could have just not said anything at all, since I assume you do not go around talking about me all the time. But straight up telling me and everyone else here that you’re not going to use my pronouns is not okay, that is in fact transmisic (bigotry against trans people, snynonymous with transphobia, but using the suffix for hatred rather than fear) and exorsexist (bigotry against nonbinary people in particular. Exor meaning “outside” as in outside the gender binary. I’m even defining these terms so no one can say I expect them to memorize them all).

And it’s not in fact a “generational issue”. Trans and nonbinary people have always existed, even when you were a kid. Lots of them are the same age you are, and even older.

Personal refusal to respect people’s pronouns cannot be blamed on your generation when your generation also has trans and nonbinary people. Trans people have always existed. We weren’t invented in 2010.

It is your personal responsibility to be a better person than the society that raised you.


Anyways fun fact. I’ve been using it/its pronouns for:

623 days, 4 hours, 45 minutes and 12 seconds

I’d be happy to explain why I chose them out of all other possible options – including literally infinite numbers of neopronouns-- but it’s going to require a several thousand word essay at the least.



I mean…why even say that? It basically implies that someone who uses “it” pronouns is icky. And…this thread is like…for queer folx? Why say their choice of pronoun is icky? that’s super unsupportive and making it about yourself, which isn’t needed. It’s the exact opposite of what should be happening.

I was ninja’d - but @nonbinary-naturalist I don’t think you need to explain your reasoning. There’s lots of essays on that out there. We do that far too much for people, but kuddos if you have the spoons to explain yet again <3 people do not realise how much that is draining to constantly explain our existence.