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Student Delivers Epic Response to Professor Using Improper Pronouns

Trans student delivers epic TikTok takedown after professor refuses to use their proper pronouns.

Some people still have a problem with pronouns.

A student at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls had an epic response to a professor who refused to use their proper pronouns. Shade, who identifies with the pronouns they/them and asked only to be identified by their first name, took the unnamed teacher to task in an email response which they read aloud on TikTok that soon went viral. Shade explained to the Times-News they made clear it wasn't a request when the professor refused to use their proper pronouns.

"I'm sorry, I think there was a misunderstanding here," Shade responded in the email read on TikTok video. "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."

Last summer Shade began identifying with nonbinary pronouns and assumed their new name, but didn't inform CSI when classes resumed in the fall. Before the spring semester, though, Shade sent an advisory email to their professors explaining their identity, name, and pronouns. Most expressed no issue with the information and request, but one professor took exception. The professor said she'd use the name Shade, but not their pronouns because that violated her "convictions."

Shade was having none of her bigotry, and instead reminded the professor of school policy regarding gender and pronouns.

"Intentionally misgendering a student is actively creating a hostile learning environment and discriminating on the basis of gender identity. I'm sure you understand that I expect to be treated with at least basic levels of respect and human decency in the classroom. I look forward to meeting you in class next week and working with you through the semester. Regards, Shade (they/them)."

When Shade read the letter on TikTok, they had no idea it would generate the type of publicity and support it has received, with over 1.8 million views and counting. It was their first viral video.

"It's been crazy," they admitted to local NBC affiliate KPVI-6. "My phone has calmed down a bit now, but the first few days, it was nonstop notifications."

The professor never responded to the email or video, but Shade has spoken with school officials. They hope to resolve their personal situation, but Shade also has their eye on the bigger picture.

"I'm less concerned with what happens between this individual teacher and myself and more concerned with what happens school-wide," they said. "Because personally, I have support. I'm not somebody who is going to be super broken up about it, but I know that's not the case for a lot of trans students. In fact, for a lot of trans students, it might be that school is the only place where they could possibly get gendered correctly."

RELATED | Trans Teen Faces Expulsion Unless She Cuts Hair, Wears Boy's Uniform

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