GWS Statement on Deadnaming

Date

05/25/21

The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies stands with trans and nonbinary students, staff, and faculty at the University of Illinois, who each deserve to be recognized and referred to by their proper names and pronouns. Deadnaming as well as misgendering withhold recognition of another’s personhood. These practices can humiliate and hurt trans and non-binary persons and create an educational and living environment that is at best unwelcoming, and at worst hostile and traumatic. Names and gender identities are not trivial aspects of personhood, but are crucially a matter of mental well-being and personal and community safety. Deadnaming can actively endanger people by outing them as trans or nonbinary without their knowledge or consent. 

In 2021, transgender and nonbinary persons, especially youth and students, are faced with widespread legislative attacks on their rights in the United States. In 31 states, at least 140 bills have been introduced that aim to criminalize or restrict gender-affirming practices by a wide array of actors, including trans youth, their parents, doctors, and teachers. These bills, some of which have already been passed through hostile state legislatures, primarily limit or deny access to health care and sports, with particular mandates for public school systems from K-12 through to secondary education. These bills signal an escalating and coordinated assault on transgender and nonbinary persons and their right to merely exist. Especially in this current political context, the University must be vigilant in ensuring the safety and well-being of trans and nonbinary students, staff, and faculty. 

We call on the University to change its policies and practices to ensure that deadnames are no longer circulated in place of students’ proper names within the U of I system infrastructure, whether it be mass or departmental emails, assigned Zoom handles, mandatory COVID testing procedures, academic transcripts, commencement ceremonies and diplomas, or other records. We further support calls for the University to provide long-term mental health care access that is both competent and affirming for trans and nonbinary students, staff, and faculty. Lastly, we call on the University and also each other to be proactive in shaping a campus/community that actively affirms trans and nonbinary people and that prevents gender-based discrimination and harm. 

 

Affiliated Faculty

rcurryRamona
Curry
sbsSiobhan
Somerville
lcachoLisa
Cacho
jcapinoJose
Capino
dbauerDale
Bauer
jabyrdJodi
Byrd
vmahaffeVicki
Mahaffey
desmondjJane
Desmond
ajgottliAlma
Gottlieb
dfr1Fairchild
Ruggles
vhoffmanValerie
Hoffman
faranakFaranak
Miraftab
danshaoSHAO
Dan
ldelgadoLuisa-Elena
Delgado
coliverM Cynthia
Oliver
kfrescoKaren
Fresco
rbhttchrRini
Mehta
aburtonAntoinette
Burton
azeraiAssata
Zerai
bowenMerle
Bowen
clcoleCL
Cole
degoldmaDara
Goldman
hogansonKristin
Hoganson
imolinaIsabel
Molina-Guzmán
joycetJoyce
Tolliver
kcflynnKaren
Flynn
lfitzgerLouise
Fitzgerald
lilyaLilya
Kaganovsky
mwadeMara
Wade
ptreichPaula
Treichler
rnbrownRuth
Brown
tbarnes2Teresa
Barnes
tchaplinTamara
Chaplin
valdiviaAngharad
Valdivia
hilgerStephanie
Hilger
miminMimi
Nguyen
ngoFiona
Ngô
anpaikA. Naomi
Paik
megmclauMegan
McLaughlin
lreaganLeslie
Reagan
hnevilleHelen
Neville
frostSamantha
Frost
patgillPat
Gill
nadchChantal
Nadeau
vswisherVirginia
Swisher
jskahnJacquelyn
Kahn
dowlingjJulie
Dowling
amarshllAnna-Maria
Marshall
w-hellerWendy
Heller
hvardenHelga
Varden
shetina1Michael
Shetina
carafCara
Finnegan
orlieMelissa
Orlie
edelacruElizabeth
Delacruz
greppi2Teresa
Greppi
sandruizSandra
Ruiz
tarjany2Peter
Tarjanyi
kanthonyKathryn
Anthony
nblakeNancy
Blake
cingoldCynthia
Ingold
cajenkinChristine
Jenkins
wkorrWynne
Korr
mcdonaghDeana
McDonagh
roswaldRamona
Oswald
lrosenthLisa
Rosenthal
chshapirConstance
Shapiro
fproulxFrançois
Proulx
iasakaIkuko
Asaka
gargiul2Megan
Gargiulo
addixsonAdrienne
Dixson
takauch2Yuki
Takauchi
loksiJenny L
Davis
tcbToby
Beauchamp
awegmanAudrey
Ramsey
nlira2Natalie
Lira
delanth2Shwetha
Delanthamajalu
mkashaniMaryam
Kashani
eegroga2Erin
Grogan
moussawiGhassan
Moussawi
egwuatu2Chibundo
Egwuatu
ctilleyCarol
Tilley
klabarreKathryn
LaBarre
montgeraLeisha
Beasley
jlk207Jennifer
Kelly
dleon6Diana
Leon-Boys
vdcVincent
Cervantes
kcompocKimberly
Compoc
rdavi4Rita
Davis