We have quite a ways to go before the norm in the cultural lexicon includes verbiage that encourages, supports, and provides for those that identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming, but, as a society, we are getting better. As allies and friends open their hearts and eyes, the world will become a more educated, open, and safe space for everyone.
And while we do have a long way to go, companies and brands are creating educational and eye-opening moments that give space to those who can educate from experience, passion, and their hearts.
Lyft, the ridesharing service, recently released a collection of license plates designed by transgender, non-binary, and cisgender artists to celebrate their pride and improvement within the world of identity. The artists include Theo Grimes (they/them), Zipeng Zhu (he/him), Melita Tirado (he/they), Barbara Alca (she/they), Milo Wren (they/he), Spencer Ashley (they/them), Shanee Benjamin (she/her), Mich Miller (they/them), and Olivia M Healy (she/they).
Because licenses plates are the tool to help you navigate the correct identification for your ride and pronouns help correctly identify who you are, this collaboration with these artists is fully comprehensive.
Each artist had the creative freedom to create a license plate design that spoke to their identity. Zipeng Zhu identifies with the he/him pronouns, and within his artist statement, he notes, “I decided to create a feminine expression of the He/Him pronoun. As a queer Asian man, the conversation about masculinity and femininity is always around me. I wanted to create something that’s very personal to me but also goes against the gender stereotype.”
Spencer Ashley, an illustrator from Toronto, uses they/them, and they state in their announcement, “My focus for this piece was to showcase why being authentic to your identity is so important. Being open about being nonbinary allows for genuine and meaningful relationships with others. I’ve created something that shows how welcoming people can be when overcoming the obstacles of coming out.”
In a world where pronouns are shared, we become a more understanding and inclusive space where everyone, regardless of how they identify, can feel seen, heard, and loved. So not only are these license plate designs beautiful, but they teach important lessons on self-expression and help bring awareness to the new feature in the Lyft app that allows you to share your pronouns. Additionally, Lyft will be auctioning off the one-of-a-kind license plates, and the auction proceeds will go towards Human Rights Campaign and National Center for Transgender Equality proving Lyft’s ongoing allyship.
While we have a long way to go until we find equality within human rights, when big brands and companies take steps like Lyft has, it inspires others to move in the same direction towards a more inclusive and judgment-free world.