Title pronouns

Any chance that BBS can enable the ability to put preferred pronouns into our profile? Some other Discourse instances have this already — not sure if it’s a plug-in or something that just needs to be toggled.


People are welcome to place their preferred pronouns in their profile bio right now (or even the real name field if they so choose). both will show up in their user cards. I’ve added mine as an example.


“my droog”


Understood, but that’s not the same as having it as its own section. Just seems like it’d be a nice change to make.


I agree. It would be handy to have it show up next to the username and title badge. Probably something that would have to be implemented on Discourse, if @codinghorror and the team are amenable. :slightly_smiling_face:

ETA: I’ve reversed my position on this. I was wrong and no longer support adding this feature.


If you’re aware of a supported plugin we can have the Discourse folks install, I’m willing to consider it, but we are very very averse to requiring personal information here, and especially averse to identifying the vulnerable members of our community for folks to jump on (especially with a forum so thoroughly indexed on the web), so we’d have to give it some careful consideration to ensure a plurality of folks even wanted this information public in the first place.


I’m no plug-in expert, but I think it works like the About Me field in the Profile; one can choose to fill it in, or not, as desired. So the BBS wouldn’t be requiring that information from anyone, just presenting another option to share info, or not.

I like the idea of a Pronouns option.


It. That. Whatever.

I feel so depersonalized.

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@tinoesroho might know of one (and it would be strictly opt-in, of course)


I would agree. I recently hired someone who isn’t out about being trans and hasn’t started to transition. They felt very pressured and uncomfortable with their previous supervisors requiring this. They are in no way ready to declare themselves to the world and feel like they don’t want to lie about who they are either.

I personally don’t use them. If someone makes an honest mistake- they’re usually more embarrassed than I. If they’re an asshole - I’d rather know that too. They’re welcome to go elsewhere.


Holy shit. This is not a topic to discuss whether or not respecting the pronouns others choose for themselves is a good thing. Are you serious with that?

This is about whether or not the BBS wants to be responsible for holding onto Personally-Identifiable-Information of our users, even given voluntarily, and whether or not the mere presence of that field placed prominently may cause some members to feel obligated to fill it out.

But before all of that, there’s a question of whether or not this is even supported in an enterprise Discourse install (which we happen to be).


I didn’t think of that, and it’s a good point.

I didn’t factor that in either. Considering how the current US government is trying to interfere with TikTok, it’s understandable too. Many of us are strongly opinionated on political matters, and I wouldn’t want that weaponized against us if the user database got hacked and identities traced to their owners.

Sorry if I ruffled any feathers. Please, do whatever you feel is best.


[I’m assuming KathyPartdeaux means just not using pronouns at all—please correct me if I’m wrong.] [Edit: Nope, I misunderstood that; see her response directly beneath this comment. I’ll leave it here, though, along with this edit, since it’s now part of the conversation.]

I wonder if it would help to have a link in the community guidelines to a tutorial or something, about how to simply use non-gendered language, and ways to avoid relying on pronouns at all if one doesn’t know the right ones for someone?


Thanks for asking - what I meant was I don’t use the pronoun notification signature lines. I use she etc.


That’s fair, but I don’t think Boing Boing should be dictating these decisions either to the point of codifying them in our guidelines. After all, the important points are there - be cool, don’t be rude, don’t be a bigot.

If the community wanted to make a set of guidelines the BBS community felt was appropriate however, I’d be more than happy to pin that to the top of the meta category for users to see if they so wished.

In my own personal experience, though, I’ve found that most people who don’t want to be assholes make an effort to do the right thing, and I feel like, with most cases of decorum and respect, you can generally tell if someone is trying to do the right thing or not (i.e., if their heart is in the right place).

Of course, I am not in danger of being misgendered either accidentally or maliciously, so I’m not the one to draw those conclusions here. But I do strongly believe that the community as a whole should write guidelines on a topic like this - it shouldn’t come from on high (outside of the guidelines posted above, which are absolute).


Oh, I see—thank you for correcting me and clarifying that for me.


Agree. Yeah, I didn’t mean that we should insist or codify; I was just thinking that it might be helpful info for folks who have hearts in the right place but not yet familiar with how to go about doing it. They could go find such info on the internet themselves, of course.

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Apologies for my delayed follow up. I jumped to a bad judgement.

I think if the field was available to fill out it would be used by trolls and bad faith bears to do more harm than good. The ability to include preferred pronouns in profile bios seems quite sufficient. I withdraw my support for the idea of having next to the username. I was wrong.


The plug in I’ve seen elsewhere doesn’t put it next to the user name or as a title - it’s just another, optional field in the profile just like your location or web site. Fill it in or don’t. Up to you.

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not a plug-in, it’s done as a custom field on our community instance of Discourse.

@orenwolf should have access to it under /admin/customize/user_fields

I understand why some instances might not find it a great fit for their community, but it’s worked well at quite a few, including Waypoint @ VICE.

This is how it looks in action