You can now add your preferred pronouns to Instagram, and I highly encourage you to do so even if you feel like you don’t really need them. The more people that do, the more we can normalize this behaviour and make the process of sharing and accepting pronouns better for all.
As the University of North Carolina Wilmington notes:
Normalizing pronouns and using correct pronouns leads to the acceptance and de-stigmatization of individuals who “deviate” from traditionally used pronouns or pronouns that do not align with their physical appearance or gender-based name. Likewise, it takes away the assumption that pronouns are only used by Transgender individuals.
By stating one’s pronouns, the need for explanation behind an individual’s correct pronouns is eliminated, as well as the idea that a person’s pronouns can be assumed based off their physical appearance or given name. When allys of the LGBTQIA+ community take part in this practice, they signal to Queer individuals that they are an ally as well as open up the conversation for a Queer individual to share their identity back.
It takes all of one minute to set this up on Instagram, with one little caveat: You can’t do it via Instagram’s website right now, a fact I eventually realised after stumbling through various screens and not finding the option all of my friends were talking about.
To add your pronouns to your Instagram profile, simply launch the app on your iOS or Android device and tap on your profile icon in the lower-right corner. Tap on the Edit Profile link, and you’ll see a new field for your pronouns. Tap it, and you’ll be able to select up to four pronouns to feature on your profile from a pre-populated list:
As you can see, you’ll also be able to restrict this field to just your followers, if you’d like a little more privacy.
Since you have to pick from a pre-populated list of pronouns, it’s possible that you might not see your particular pronouns present. If that’s the case, you’ll simply have to add them to your regular biography (as you would have previously). You can, however, let Instagram know what words you’d prefer to use, and they might add those in at a future point.
If you don’t see the pronouns option on your Instagram profile, it’s possible that the feature hasn’t rolled out to you yet. (It’s being tested in a few countries at the moment.)
Hang tight, add them to your regular bio in the meantime, and look for the official option in the near future. Perhaps by then, we’ll be able to see everyone’s pronouns on the web-based version of Instagram, too.