An Idaho college student who identifies as non-binary is going mega-viral after sending the perfect response to a professor who refused to use the student's correct pronouns.
The student, who goes by the name Shade and uses they/them pronouns, made a TikTok video of their email correspondence with the professor.
It's got people all over the internet applauding Shade's straightforward, no-nonsense response.
@unholy.shade I'm not putting up with it. ##theythem ##nonbinary ##trans ##lgbt ##pronounsmatter
♬ original sound - Unholy.Shade
Shade—a student at College of Southern Idaho—emailed all their professors notifying them of their correct pronouns and name which differs from their enrollment documents.
As with many things, enrollment documents often conform with an individual's birth certificate.
The professor in question agreed to use the name Shade, but balked at the pronouns on the basis it would be in violation of their "convictions."
So, Shade put their professor on notice what they were asking for is not a favor, but rather a baseline form of respect.
Shade's email begins:
"I'm sorry, I think there was a misunderstanding here. You seem to think I'm making some kind of request? I was just informing you of my correct name and pronouns so you know how to refer to me."
Shade went on to inform the professor not using their correct pronouns is also against the school's policies.
"Intentionally misgendering a student is actively creating a hostile environment and discriminating on the basis of gender identity. That goes against the school's nondiscrimination statement. I know you wouldn't want to do that."
Your move, professor.
Shade's TikTok video highlighting their response went mega-viral. They told local news station KPVI their phone was "nonstop notifications" for days.
But it wasn't just people cheering them on. Shade also heard from people struggling with the issues of gender identity themselves.
As they told, KPVI:
"At one point, somebody commented saying that they had watched a bunch of my videos and that they had been helpful because they're about to adopt a trans daughter. I almost cried. That is so sweet."
And many of their fellow TikTokers were blown away by the way they handled the issue.
While the college's Gay/Straight Alliance was unhelpful in Shade's situation, they have had success in getting assistance from the Dean of Students who was receptive to ideas about staff trainings and necessary culture shifts at the college.
Shade told KPVI they hope this situation will help other non-binary, gender-nonconforming and transgender students in the future.