Ithaca College Promotes New Holiday: 'International Pronouns Day'

"People just don’t know how to use them"

A new holiday celebrating the LGBTQ community has been adopted by the mayor of Ithaca, New York thanks in large part to the city's renowned liberal arts college: "International Pronouns Day."

Recognized by Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, the holiday will have its first observance on October 17 and has been endorsed by "nearly 200 organizations," according to The Ithacan. The Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services helped to establish the holiday in concert with other LGBT groups.

The Ithaca mayor's office proclaimed the day an endorsement of human dignity.

"Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity," the proclamation reads. "Ithaca is committed to being inclusive — priding itself as diverse, accepting and supportive of all individuals, families and communities."

Luca Maurer, director of the Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services, said the day is less about intersectional politics and more about raising awareness about non-gender-conforming people's need to hear themselves called by their desired pronouns.

"It’s not just important," Maurer said. "It’s required to call people by the pronouns they use to confer basic dignity and respect."

Not only that, the holiday will highlight the harm inflicted upon LGBTQ individuals because of "structural racism" and heteronormative class structures.

"We really want to surface how insidious structural racism, misogyny and classism all interweaves together to cause oppression," Maurer said.

Ithaca College sophomore Katie Conte told the outlet she supports the new holiday because it will educate people to see trans people beyond Caitlyn Jenner. "People just don’t know how to use them," Conte said. "I feel like when people think of trans people, they just think of Caitlyn Jenner."


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