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CU Boulder advises students to assume others are transgender or nonbinary, use gender-neutral pronouns

University of Colorado Boulder has published a guide advising that students refer to others as "they," "ze," "hir" or other gender-neutral pronouns, unless they are explicitly told otherwise.

University of Colorado Boulder has published a pronouns guide that advises students to assume others are transgender or nonbinary unless individuals say otherwise.

The school's Center for Inclusion and Social Change, which is under the Division of Student Affairs, published the guide on its resources page. 

The guide asks students to refer to others with gender-neutral pronouns unless they are explicitly told otherwise — including unusual pronouns, like "ze/zir" and "hir."

"If someone tells you their pronouns, use those! If you don’t know someone’s pronouns, don’t assume gendered pronouns and use gender-neutral ones, like they or ze," the guide reads.

"Sometimes people just don’t want to share their pronouns and that’s fine," the page adds. "Usually it’s safe to use they/them/theirs unless that person tells you otherwise."


The guide says that misgendering others or ignoring their preferences can be tantamount to violence.

"Choosing to ignore or disrespect someone’s pronouns is not only an act of oppression but can also be considered an act of violence," the guide added.

However, the webpage emphasizes that it can be impolite to ask for someone's pronouns indelicately.

"Knowing a person’s pronouns is not the most important thing in the world but respecting a person is, so try not to demand something of someone when they’re not comfortable giving it," the page reads.

The department explains that using the correct pronouns is a form of respect, and ignoring those preferences could negatively impact other people's mental health.


"When someone refers to another person using the wrong pronouns, especially on purpose, that can lead to that person feeling disrespected and can lead to dysphoria, exclusion and alienation," the guide says.

The Center for Inclusion and Social Change's goal is to "support all students in the exploration of all of their identities and to create a welcoming and inclusive space on campus that supports academic and personal growth."

CU Boulder, which is Colorado's flagship public university, told Fox News Digital that the school supports an inclusive environment and protects students' freedom of speech.

"This [guide] was created by students, for students. The university supports students’ freedom of expression, as guaranteed under the First Amendment," the spokesperson said. "CU Boulder recognizes that misgendering people, whether intentionally or not, can cause harm and feelings of disrespect and exclusion."

"We are committed to supporting and advocating for an inclusive environment for everyone on campus," the spokesperson added.

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