The University of Vermont established an online database to allow transgender students to list their “preferred name and/or pronoun.” The service lets transgender students choose from the pronouns “none (nothing listed), she, ze, and he,” as well as “prefer name only,” apparently for students who are offended by the idea of pronouns entirely. Students can also indicate if they prefer to be called by a name other than their birth name.
In an interview with Vermont Public Radio, 2014 graduate Lindsay Whittaker said the school was not doing enough because sometimes transgender students were still called the wrong pronouns. Other students have complained that the term “preferred gender” is in itself offensive.
“The student who brought it to my attention said, ‘It’s not my preferred gender, it’s my gender,’” LGBTQA Center Director Dot Braur told VPR. “This isn’t about what color socks I like.”