Gabrielle Toms, age 17
Lakewood High School, Lakewood, OH
Teacher: Anne McQuay

The obstacle I’m tackling is the accidental use of incorrect pronouns at my school. As a non-binary person who doesn’t frequently use things like makeup, I’m often referred to by the wrong pronoun. It’s an incredibly frustrating obstacle to deal with almost every day. I have redesigned my school’s IDs to include a spot that has the owner’s pronouns. If somebody gets their pronouns wrong, they can show the other person the pronouns on their ID. Students could create custom pronouns and share them through a form everyone fills out. Being misgendered is an incredibly uncomfortable experience that can make someone feel excluded because they aren’t treated as who they are. My design would be something that validates transgender and non-binary people within my school.

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