UC-Davis lists ‘yo’ and ‘xie’ as gender-neutral pronouns

Toni Airaksinen
New York Campus Correspondent

  • The University of California-Davis LGBTQIA Resource Center has an online resource instructing students on the proper use of 8 different gender-neutral pronouns, including “yo,” “xie,” “ey,” “en,” and “ve.”
  • The guide cautions that it is "not an exhaustive list," informing students that "any combination [of pronouns] is possible," and that some people might eschew pronouns altogether.
  • The University of California-Davis LGBTQIA Resource Center has a new pronoun guide that adds “yo,” “xie,” “ey,” “en,” and “ve” to the list of gender-neutral pronouns.

    The “What are Pronouns?” guide invites students to choose personal pronouns other than he or she, positing that all students should be given “the opportunity to state the pronoun that is correct to use when referring to them” during class.

    "Did 'yo' enjoy 'yoself'?"   

    [RELATED: College wants students to go around saying ‘ne’ to people]

    The guide lists “co,” “en,” “ey,” “he,” “she,” “they,” “xie,” yo,” “ze,” and “ve” as potential pronoun options, providing a conjugation chart illustrating how they may be used a subject, object, possessive, possessive pronoun, and reflexive. 

    To refer to a student who identifies as “yo,” for example, one would say “Did yo enjoy yoself?” or “that pen’s yos.” For a student who identifies as “ey,” the guide calls for using “eirs” or “eirself.” 

    Though the guide lists 10 pronoun combinations, it notes that “This is not an exhaustive list!” and that “Any combination [of pronouns] is possible!” 

    Students may also choose more than one preferred pronoun, the guide adds, explaining that a hypothetical student may say “I’m Jade and my pronouns are zie and hir,” or perhaps “I prefer they and them, but he is fine.” 

    While most students have a pronoun preference, some may eschew pronouns entirely. When asked, these students may say “No pronouns for me!” or “It’s better if you mix ‘em up,” the guide states.

    The guide also encourages students to incorporate “inclusive” language in group settings, suggesting that they say “Hey everyone!” instead of “Hey guys!” or “Hey Ladies!”

    [RELATED: College pronoun FAQ: regularly ask for others’ pronouns]

    “Always use the pronouns & name people want you to use,” instructs a separate list of “LGBTQIA Ally Tips,” adding that “If you’re unsure, ASK!” 

    UC-Davis also offers a glossary listing various identities and sexualities that students might have, including “allosexual,” “BlaQueer,” “Furry,” “Neutrois,” “Womxn” and “Ursula,” all of which are defined on the taxpayer-funded school’s website.

    The UC-Davis “What are pronouns?” guide is one of many pronoun guides American colleges have released this year. 

    As Campus Reform recently reported, for instance, Bryn Mawr College encourages students to use pronouns such as “co,” “kit,” “sie,” “zie,” and “it,” and even refers them to a page with “royal” pronouns, including "que/quen/queens/queenself” and “pri/prin/prins/princeself.” 

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen





    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    New York Campus Correspondent
    Toni Airaksinen is a New York Campus Correspondent, where she reports on free speech issues and social justice research. She is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. She is also a columnist for PJ Media, and formerly held a post with USA TODAY College, The Columbia Spectator, and Quillette.
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