MINOT, N.D. — When it comes to the conflict over gender identity, and pronouns, I come down on the side of being polite. If someone feels more comfortable identifying as a certain gender or being referred to in a certain way, I’ll do my best to comply.
As my grandma used to tell me, courtesy costs us nothing, and it can mean everything.
But should misgendering someone, or failing to use their requested pronouns, be classified as, and punishable as, discrimination? Should a person, born male, be able to use a woman’s restroom or locker room based on nothing other than their declared gender identity?
According to a proposed policy at the University of North Dakota, that would be the case.
“The gender inclusion policy is not in active yet. It is still open for comment,” UND spokesman David Dodds told me when contacted for comment. “The comment period will close on Friday (Oct. 22). After that, comments will be considered in the final version of the document before going to executive council for discussion/endorsement prior to the president’s signature after which the policy will become active.”