A TikTok has gone viral of non-binary student Shade’s response to their professor refusing to use their correct pronouns, despite asking in advance via email.
Shade received an from a professor who said she would use Shade’s name, but not their correct pronouns due to her “convictions”.
Shade read out their response on TikTok, and it has now been viewed over 1.8 million times.
They wrote: “I’m sorry, I think there was a misunderstanding here. 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.
“Intentionally misgendering a student is actively creaeting a hostile environment and discriminating on the basis of gender identity.
“That goes against the school’s non-discrimination statement. I know you wouldn’t want to do that.
“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).”
Shade’s video quickly went viral on TikTok
Shade said this video has been viewed far more than any of their other posts and they had “non-stop notifications” for days after they posted it.
The professor hasn’t responded to the email. They followed up by emailing the Dean of Students at their school, who responded saying he’d set up an inclusion and diversity committee at the school.
In an update video they posted later, they said that “the school is doing something to make positive change and I want to commend that.”
They said they have no intention of revealing who the professor who refused to use their pronouns was. They said they are “not trying to make anyone look bad”, and they are more focused on making positive changes at the school.
The response to Shade’s video has been mostly positive. Shade said: “At one point, somebody commented saying that they had watched a bunch of my videos and that they had been helpful because they’re about to adopt a trans daughter. I almost cried. That is so sweet.”
Since its inial release in 2016, many LGBT+ people have used TikTok as a space to educate people on LGBT+ issues and connect with other people in the community.