Gender-neutral Language Statement

Gender-neutral language is a generic term covering the use of non-sexist language, inclusive language or gender-fair language. The purpose of gender-neutral language is to avoid word choices which may be interpreted as biased, discriminatory or demeaning by implying that one sex or social gender is the norm. Using gender-fair and inclusive language also helps reduce gender stereotyping, promotes social change and contributes to achieving gender equality.

We strive for gender neutrality with regards to language in recognition of the many genders represented within our member choirs, singing sections and the LGBTQ+ community. When working and communicating with singers and choirs within the LEGATO community please keep the following guidelines in mind. 

 

Bias-free language has more chance of being accepted by users if it is natural and unobtrusive. Genuinely neutral and inclusive alternatives should be sought while respecting the multilingual nature of LEGATO's working environment. These guidelines aim at being a source of inspiration for the choirs in this regard.

Please refer to sections by voice part rather than gender, ie; altos and sopranos, tenors and basses rather than men or women. There are gender-inclusive ways to address a choir as a whole. People or folks or simply everyone are more gender-neutral options (as opposed to Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls). 

We know that gender-specific language is a part of our culture and we don't expect each individual to overcome years of conditioning overnight. We would, however, appreciate your attempt to address our members in the most gender-neutral way possible. 

Some Usage Examples:

Exclusionary (binary):

Every choir member should know his or her lines by Friday.

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Inclusive (any gender):

Each choir member should know their lines by Friday.

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Inclusive (singer whose chosen pronouns are they/ them / theirs):

Alex needs to learn their lines by Friday.

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Exclusionary (binary):

Each should wait until he / she is notified of his / her audition results.

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Inclusive (any gender):

Each should wait until they are notified of their audition results.

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Inclusive (singer whose chosen pronouns are they/ them / theirs):

Janani should wait until they are notified of their audition results.

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