Blue Zoo are working to support the transgender community

Blue Zoo's core mission is to nurture an open, inclusive and diverse studio through celebrating difference, with many ongoing initiatives to make it as welcoming and considerate as possible. One of the key ways that we aim to foster inclusivity and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community is through using gender pronouns in our communications. In particular, we encourage our people to put their pronouns in their email signatures and video conferencing display names.

What are pronouns?

Gender pronouns, otherwise known as just pronouns, are words that an individual chooses to be referred to in place of their name. As you might expect, the most commonly used pronouns are “he/him” and “she/her”; people who are trans-identifying or don’t identify within the binary may use pronouns that don’t conform to these male/female categorisations. These pronouns can vary massively, from “they/them” to “ze/zir”, and some people may use multiple pronouns, such as “she/they”. 

Why are pronouns so important?

Since you can’t always tell how someone identifies or what pronouns they prefer, it’s best not to assume. It’s important to ask an individual what their pronouns are when you meet, just as you’d ask what their name is or what they do. Gender identity and expression can be a very important part of people’s lives, and using the correct pronouns can show your respect and support for them and their identity. 

Making a conscious effort to know and use someone’s pronouns is a simple but effective way to actively support the trans community, both within the workplace and in everyday life. We strive to be a safe, accommodating and respectful place to work, so it’s important that we do all we can to maintain this.

Why include them in communications?

We encourage those who are comfortable doing so to incorporate their pronouns into their email signature and video conferencing (Zoom etc) display names. We do this as we want to normalise the act of stating your pronouns and asking others for theirs, rather than simply assuming. Including pronouns in email signatures is a great way of informing others of how somebody identifies and wishes to be referred to, whilst also subtly supporting others. This goes for display names too; if you have to include your name, you might as well include your pronouns. Not only does it show your support for others and the normalisation of pronouns, but it helps to avoid unnecessary confusion.

How do I add them to my signature and display name?

Adding your pronouns to your email signature is incredibly easy - you just have to type them alongside or below your name when you sign off an email. If you want to add them as a permanent part of an existing email signature, simply navigate to the signature settings of your email provider and type them wherever you want them to appear in your existing signature. 

To add your pronouns to your display name for video conferencing, log into your conferencing software, such as Teams or Zoom, and head to the Settings/Profile page. From here, find the area that contains your name (may be labelled display name or full name) and add your pronouns next to your name. Below is an example of how this section will look.

At Blue Zoo, we pride ourselves on having an open and inclusive studio culture, and we know that including pronouns in communications can’t be the end of our work. Blue Zoo is a founding member of Access:VFX, an organisation that is pursuing inclusion, diversity and awareness within the VFX, Animation and Games industries. Access:VFX have set up an extension LGBTQI+ branch, aptly named Q-VFX, or Queer-VFX. This is designed to be a safe space, specifically for queer folk within our industry. Q-VFX hosts events, meetups and socials, striving to create a welcoming community for everyone in the industry. For more information on Q-VFX have a look at the Access:VFX website. To stay in the loop of upcoming events be sure to follow Q-VFX on Twitter and join the Facebook group.