Viewpoint: Why you should fill out your PGP Door Decorations

Sam Stroozas, Staff Reporter

Have you ever been called by the wrong name? Example: my name is Sam. Sometimes when people don’t know me that well I have heard them refer to me as Sammy, a name that I cannot stand. It is not my name, I don’t identify with it, and I would never answer to it. Even if I have been called Sammy in the past, I now go by Sam and anything else just is not me. This theory is similar to the one on PGP’s. PGP’s, or personal gendered pronouns are common in our everyday talk. We always use pronouns, even if we overlook it.

From her to she, him, his, and he, and the less common ones like they, them, zir, and zirs – they are all pronouns. Being called the wrong name is like being referred to by the wrong pronoun. If I was called ‘he’ when I identify as a ‘she,’ I would feel out of place and bad because I do not see myself as a male; likewise to those that use non-binary pronouns, they want to be called by the correct one.

The reason we as UWL students need to be more observant of PGP’s is not only because there may be transitioning or non-binary students, but because of the PGP door decorations that are in each residence hall.

The PGP door decorations located in each hall are for the student of the dorm to write how they identify so those living in their residence hall can use the correct pronouns when referring to the person. Without these door decorations, it would be difficult for residents to know the pronouns of those they live with because not everyone is cisgender, and this is not a new phenomenon.

By making fun of the PGP door decorations and mocking those that use other pronouns than the ones we are accustomed to, you are not only creating an unsafe environment for those in the residence halls who do not identify with the gender binary or are transitioning, but you are not respecting the inclusive and diverse qualities that the UWL campus urges us to represent when we are on and off school grounds.

It is not that difficult to use other non-gender conforming pronouns in every day speech. We use them so often that changing them would never inhibit our language but make it more inclusive to all of those around us.

If someone is not hurting you or others in what they do, what is the harm? You don’t have to believe in different PGP’s, but you must respect them. Use door decorations to display how you identify, not to mock others. For some, being mis-gendered is the worst feeling and unless you are not cisgender you will never know how that feels.

Respect the mission statement of UWL; respect those who are different from you because diversity creates culture, and culture is what makes life interesting.

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