Students Practice Saying ‘Xyr’ And ‘Ey’ At Gender-Neutral Pronoun Workshop


By Rob Shimshock

A university is hosting a workshop Friday where students will learn and practice using gender-neutral pronouns like “xe/xem/xyr” and “ey/em/eir.”

The University of Maryland, Baltimore is hosting “Gender Neutral Pronoun Lunch & Learn,” a workshop that, along with an extensive LGBT Terminology dictionary on its website, marks the university’s attempt to accommodate its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Allied (LGBTQIA) population.

“Using the right pronoun is always the right thing to do but sometimes it can be hard to use gender neutral pronouns without practice,” reads the event description. “Join us in a casual and safe space where you can learn and practice pronouns such as they/them/their, xe/xem/xyr, ey/em/eir, and many more.”

The school’s LGBT Terminology lexicon lists over 80 terms pertaining to the LGBT community.

“Cisgender privilege” is defined as “the unearned rights or benefits afforded to cisgender people because of the gender conformance that are denied to those who are gender variant.” “Polyamory,” meanwhile, refers to “usually non-possessive” relationships with more than one individual.

UMD also outlines seven elements of “gender attribution process,” detailing more well-known ones such as behavior or physical cues, but then proceeding to describe “mythic cues,” which include stereotypes such as the dumb blond and “textual cues” comprising documents like a driver’s license.

Gregory A. Brightbill, an academic coordinator at UMD’s Interprofessional Student Learning & Service Initiatives, is listed as the organizer for the workshop.

He also manages the school’s Safe Space program. The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Brightbill and the University of Maryland, Baltimore for comment, but received none in time for publication.

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