Guidelines issued by Bryn Mawr College include “ze” and “it” among the gender-neutral pronouns by which students, professors and members of the community might identify.
The document, “Asking For and Using Pronouns: Making Spaces More Gender Inclusive,” is featured on the Pensby Center for Community Development and Inclusion’s website. It says some people use “non-traditional pronouns” that “may change after you have already been introduced to the person.”
Such pronouns include “they (or ey),” “it,” “ze (or zie),” “sie,” “co,” “xe (or xie),” “ve” and “kit.”
The document, first reported by Campus Reform, provides examples of each pronoun in the objective case (“I ask zir”), as possessive determiners (“Zir lantern glows”), as possessive pronouns (“That is zirs”) and in the reflexive form (“Ze likes zirself”).
The guidelines stress that this is “by no means a complete list of pronouns.”
To use someone’s gender pronouns incorrectly “can cause the person to feel disrespected, alienated, or dysphoric (or a combination of the three),” the document warns.
The problem is, it’s impossible to tell if someone is “transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, gender-variant” or something else simply by looking.
“Asking for pronouns can prevent emotional distress from happening, and sets an example of respect,” the guidelines advise.
If you make a mistake, “a brief apology can help.”
“It can be tough to remember pronouns, especially if you are learning new ones,” the document concludes. “The best solution is to practice when possible.”
© Copyright (c) 2018 News World Communications, Inc.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.