Correction to our “LGBTQ…HIJKLMNOP” article

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(By: Joey Weslo)

Corrections have been made to our newsprint “LGBTQ…HIJKLMNOP” article published in our Volume 53 edition on March 13.

The opinion article discussed whether the abundance of micro-sexual labels in the LGBTQ community impedes solidarity and progress for the movement.

In the article, I misgendered interviewee Chloe Edwards, who is non-binary and prefers gender-neutral pronouns such as “they/them.”

I commend Edwards’ courage in sharing their perspective in an effort to bring greater respect for those who feel marginalized in the LGBTQ community.

We at the paper strive to celebrate all walks of life and believe this diversity is the school’s greatest strength.

We regret any pain Edwards may have felt and encourage all others to be adamant and strong in refusing to accept any pronoun that doesn’t reflect their true identity. Who you are is beautiful; don’t let anybody infringe on your true self.

We agree with the Associated Press Stylebook’s 2017 decision to accept “they/them/their” gender-neutral pronouns, however, we do have some reservations in how they are administering the practice.

The Stylebook encourages writers to use gender-neutral pronouns sparingly as it leads to confusion for the readers between individual and plural subjects.

“In stories about people who identify as neither male nor female: Use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or otherwise reword the sentence whenever possible. If they/them/there is essential, explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun. Be sure that the phrasing does not imply more than one person.”

In an effort to balance between not offending the subject and not confusing the reader, the guidelines strip the identity from non-binary people and fail to pay them the respect they deserve.

However, we do identify the constraints of the current language being used.

A proper sentence reads, “They believe,” or “They think.” I believe to avoid confusion with plural subjects, the binary “She believes,” and “She thinks,” should be translated to the gender-neutral “They believe(s),” “They think(s).” This may sound strange to the ear, but it carves out a specific quality gender-neutral pronouns can use to distinguish themselves.

We encourage the AP to continue embracing the evolution of language as it conforms to capture the full spectrum of being human.

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