03/17/2015 03:29 EDT | Updated 03/17/2015 03:59 EDT

Why We Need Transgender Pronouns

Because a person's gender is always valid.

Gender is more than just how a person looks, acts or dresses.

In the video above by Buzzfeed, the team asks artists, LGBT advocates and other trans people about preferred gender and transgender pronouns. While some opt for "he" or "she," others prefer "them" or "they."

"My pronoun is 'he' and I present as a 'he,' [but] some trans people that might look like me may present as a 'she,'" says filmmaker and LGBT advocate Buck Angel.

In many offices or social settings, the topic of gender is often overlooked, and frankly, never discussed. If you are unsure about someone's gender and collaborate or work with the person, for example, the video suggests just asking them what their pronoun is, even though it may seem awkward. Chances are, the person you're talking to is used to questions like this one.

"Pronouns are important because they indicate a degree of respect," says author and advocate Kate Bornstein in the video above. Bornstein says her preference is "they" or "she."

People are also finding other ways to identify their gender. As Washington Post columnist Steven Petrow points out, after he went to a presentation at Duke University’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, he found some trans people used the pronouns "ze" and "hir." Other non-gender pronouns with which people identify can also include "ve/ver," "xe" and "ni/nem."

Watch the video above to educate yourself on some of these terms, and why it's so important to use them.

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