The Daily Caller reports that a college in Vermont, to kick off the new school year, is encouraging its students to wear special pins that declare and show their pronouns, so people do not “misgender” them by accidentally using the wrong one(s).
However, the pronouns displayed on the pins aren’t just the usual “he” and “she” pronouns, Champlain college encourages its students to get creative and choose any pronouns that makes them feel good about themselves. Which means they are free to use any of the over 500 genders that Tumblr has invented. Officials at the college, when interviewed, said that the pins are a way to welcome new students at the school who opted out of conventional gender norms.
“We have a number of students who identify as transgender or on the non-binary spectrum, and about a week before orientation while we were pulling together materials, the idea just kind of came out of the air,” residential life director Danelle Berube said. “It just seemed like a no-brainer — a very easy way to make the first day of college for a number of our students maybe a little bit easier.”
The pins range from saying “Hello, my pronouns are Xe/Xem/Xyrs,” to pronouns like “they/them/theirs” On of the pins, designed for students who believe that their gender identity changes frequently, had “Hello, my pronouns are fluid. Please ask me!” scribbled on it.
According to the Daily caller, Sarah McNally, a student at Champlain, said the buttons were a valuable way of showing that rejection of the gender binary was a core value of the school.
“When you create a culture that says, ‘Hey, we ask people’s pronouns, we don’t assume them,’ that really lets students know that that’s the culture of the school, and they can either accept it or not,” she said.
Champlain college is following in the steps of Facebook, which as at today, has 71 gender options.. Just a month ago, teachers in England were urged by the boarding school association to use “zie” pronouns for transgender students in an effort to “queer the education system.”