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Phrase ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ deemed ‘degrading and designed to harm’

The Pride Resource Center at Colorado State University has deemed the phrase “ladies and gentlemen” one of many “transphobic phrases” that should not be used by students.

A poster released by the center states that “transphobic slurs,” like “ladies and gentlemen” are “extremely degrading and designed to harm.” Other such harmful phrases are “real women/men,” “What’s your real name?” “transgendered” and “you don’t look trans.”

The poster, labeled “Tips for Supporting Transgender People,” suggests that these phrases should not be used, and instead urges students to “incorporate words like ‘cisgender’ when referring to non-transgender folks.”

Both the Pride Resource Center and Colorado State University declined to comment on the poster to The College Fix.

The poster also gives examples of “commonly used pronouns” students may be asked to use, beyond the standard he/him/his and she/her/hers. These pronouns include “they/them/theirs,” “ze/hir/hirs” and “per/per/pers.”

Additionally, the poster states it’s “not cool to ask” for a person’s “real name,” or what their “transition status” is.

It also advises students on how to be active allies to transgender people. It tells readers to “carry the load” and challenge transphobia wherever you see it. It also tells the reader to “educate yourself” on the issues facing trans communities and “apologize” when you mess up.

“This poster is intended to raise awareness and skills about some of the experiences trans students often face,” the pride center’s website states. “While displaying the poster is a great way to demonstrate support, it is important to remember that this is only one small step.”

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About the Author
Kathryn Hinderaker is a junior at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She studies political science, media studies and management studies. Kathryn is president of the St. Olaf College Republicans and founder and president of her campus’s Turning Point USA chapter. Her campus efforts have been featured on Fox News, Minnesota Public Radio and Twin-Cities Public Television. In addition to The College Fix, her writing has been featured on the Minnesota Star Tribune. 

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