When is it appropriate to ask someone what their preferred pronouns are? I live in a relatively small town. It’s not so small that everyone knows one another, but small enough that you tend to see the same people often. The last two times that I’ve shopped at our local big-box store, the person who checked me out was not immediately readable as their gender. Their name tag displays a gender-neutral name. I often have my 3-year-old daughter with me, and the cashier is friendly and interacts with her often. I have found myself trying to avoid using pronouns so that I don’t misgender this person, but it seems awkward and impersonal. I am also worried that my 3-year-old will unintentionally misgender this person or ask a question about their gender. I want to set a good example for her and make the cashier feel comfortable interacting with us, especially since there are a fair amount of conservatives in our area who may not be very supportive of someone who is gender nonconforming. But I also don’t want to make this person feel awkward or offended. So is it ever appropriate to ask about preferred pronouns? Is it better to continue avoiding pronouns or just use they/them?