‘Xemself,’ ‘Eirself,’ and ‘Verself’: U.S. Appeals Court Nixes Gender Neutral Pronouns

A federal appeals court summoned a “parade of horribles” Wednesday when it refused a transgender prisoner’s request to be addressed with the pronoun that reflects her female gender identity.

“If a court orders one litigant referred to as ‘her’ (instead of ‘him’), then the court can hardly refuse when the next litigant moves to be referred to as ‘xemself’ (instead of ‘himself’), writes the panel.

The panel reprinted “Pronouns – A How to Guide,” a publication of the LGBTQ+ Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that contains 45 different pronouns for LGBTQ+, including ae/aer/aers and fae/faer/faers.

The panel said federal courts are increasingly asked to decide cases that turn on hotly-debated issues of sex and gender identity. A court may have the “most benign motives” in honoring a party’s request to be called by a certain pronoun but “in doing so, the court may unintentionally convey its tacit approval of the litigant’s underlying legal position.”

Source: ‘Xemself,’ ‘Eirself,’ and ‘Verself’: U.S. Appeals Court Nixes Gender Neutral Pronouns

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