College offers 'non-offensive' & 'fluid' pronouns for gay, transgender students

by Gregory Tomlin, |
An image from the Facebook page of New York University (NYU). The university welcomed students in 2015 with pins bearing "gender fluid pronouns," which don't actually exist in the English language. Now, Champlain University in Vermont is doing the same. | NYU/Facebook

BURLINGTON, Vermont (Christian Examiner) – Students and faculty at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, were given the opportunity at freshman orientation to declare to other students the personal pronoun by which they would like to be called – and those pronouns aren't the "he," "she," "him" and "her" in use for hundreds of years.

These pronouns include new concoctions such as "xe" and "xer." They are not English or any real language. Instead, they are the new pronouns of the LGBT sub-culture. 

Along with pins declaring the student's pronoun of choice, students also had access to pins that stated their "pronouns are fluid," a reference to being "gender fluid" – when a person supposedly identifies with both male and female genders, but not necessarily at the same time.

The Burlington Free Press reported the pins were a welcome to the LGBT members of the student body and others "on the non-binary spectrum."

Director of Residential Life Danielle Berube said the "idea just kind of came out of the air."

"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," Berube said.

Not everyone, however, thinks the pins are a good idea. In fact, Berube said it would "certainly be a generalization" to say that most people are comfortable with them.

For those who express resistance to them or to those because of their beliefs, she said they should become accustomed to such challenges to their way of thinking because it is an educational atmosphere.

"[T]his is the place where people are supposed to confront their values and beliefs and understand them or push on them. This is the place where we should be doing this," she said.

Champlain is not the first university to offer students the use of "gender fluid" pronouns. New York University offered similar buttons in its orientation week in 2015. Those buttons introduced pronouns like "ze," "hir," and "hirs."