Two former dorm directors at Houghton University, a small Christian college in western New York, were fired for refusing to remove gender pronouns from their work email signatures.
Shua Wilmot, who identifies as “he/him,” and Raegan Zelaya, who identifies as “she/her,” attached their preferred pronouns to their email signatures. Both maintain that they have unusual names and attach their preferred pronouns to give the recipient clarity. However, the university recently implemented a new policy requiring standardized email formats and requested the removal of pronouns. Both Wilmot and Zelaya refused to comply and were subsequently terminated.
It is worth noting that the national debate around pronouns is largely centered around transgender individuals, but neither Wilmot nor Zelaya identifies as transgender.
The firings prompted the creation of a petition in opposition. The petition currently has hundreds of signatures from alumni of the school.