Today we added a new pronoun feature to members’ profiles. Until now, for the purpose of ease and inclusion, everyone was referred to using the singular “they/their” in the Activity feed, e.g. “Gemma added Paris is Burning to their watchlist”.

Now, you can go to your Settings and choose a pronoun from the selection menu.

After consulting with some beloved Letterboxd members well-versed in the landscape of non-binary pronouns, we have introduced these additional options: she/her, he/his, xe/xyr, ze/hir, ze/zir and it/its, the last of which is also useful for accounts that represent an organization, e.g. a podcast, film society or film festival.*

We are proud to introduce this new feature during Pride month, and in light of recent, awful events this is one small way in which we can show our support.

So, why have we added these options, given that we have never asked for your gender in your profile (and don’t intend to)? We always felt that gender wasn’t necessary to the platform, and we were happy that a person’s given name or username might be the only clue to their gender. Why should gender matter on Letterboxd, anyway? Isn’t it more fun to bust open time-worn assumptions about fan-boys and flick-chicks and the films and genres they like?

Well… pronouns are important to people. More important than our office full of mostly white, cisgender dev types can possibly grasp. We know we are privileged to never have to worry that someone will use the wrong pronoun in reference to us; we can’t imagine how alienating or offensive it must be for someone who does. Language and the way we use it contributes to the violence and oppression that marginalized groups in our society experience.

So we want to be positive and proactive about how you would like to appear in others’ activity feeds, and how you would like others to refer to you in comments. You should be able to legitimize who you are when you’re on Letterboxd. Using a member’s correct personal pronoun is one of the most basic ways of showing respect for their identity.

From day one we have built Letterboxd as an inclusive, respectful social network based around one idea: love of film (in all its forms, we are not celluloid-binary)—so if all it takes is a bit of code at our end to honor your choice of pronoun, well, why not.

We’re open to adding more pronouns according to demand, and to hearing your thoughts about how we can improve Letterboxd for everyone. On that note, keep an eye out for an upcoming news post about how to get the best out of Letterboxd and its community, especially if you’re new around here.


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