Eastern University’s Writing Center is now allowing for “they” to be used as a singular pronoun that refers to non-binary people. This change has come about as a result of a growing awareness of the many gender-identities in our world, and the ways that language in the classroom can be inclusive. By allowing students to use “they”, classrooms create the opportunity for all gender-identities to be recognized.
In a statement, the IWCA, International Writing Centers Association said, “It is time for professional organizations, especially those committed to teaching, to challenge the deep-rooted structures that have been used to uphold a binary that denies access for entire communities.”
The singular pronoun “they” is most often used by people who identify as nonbinary, or as neither male or female. According to a statement by transmediawatch.org that regards nonbinary media representation, “Non-binary is an umbrella term used to describe people who do not feel male or female.”
Transmediawatch.org also stated “They may feel that they embody elements of both, that they are somewhere in between or that they are something different.”
According to the community guidelines listed on Eastern University’s website, the school aims to “To use inclusive language when speaking about or addressing human beings in written and oral communication,” as well as “Treat all human beings with respect and dignity.” Therefore, it only makes sense that the on-campus writing center would permit broad pronoun usage in students’ written works. Allowing Eastern students to identify themselves the way that they truly are is a powerful step towards a more inclusive and accepting campus for all people.
In a Christian school, it is especially important that everybody feels welcome and valid, not just on campus, but in their classrooms and written work. The Christian church has a history and a reputation of being discriminatory towards those with LGBTQ+ identities, which can often make people who identify as such feel uncomfortable or unwanted by Christians, and in some cases, even Christ. However, this behavior does not accurately reflect thatofJesus, who loves all people unconditionally. Making Eastern University a welcoming community that loves as Jesus does could be a remarkable change not only in how Christians are viewed, but how the Christian faith is received by members of the LGBTQ+ community. The change will help create an accepting and safe environment for people of all backgrounds and identities on this campus.
Source: Trans Media Watch, The IWCA, Eastern University.