In the boldest endorsement of a growing national trend, the University of Tennessee is urging incoming students and teachers to junk references to “he,” “she,” and “them,” in favor of gender-neutral “ze” and “xe.”

“With the new semester beginning and an influx of new students on campus, it is important to participate in making our campus welcoming and inclusive for all. One way to do that is to use a student’s chosen name and their correct pronouns,” blogged Donna Braquet, director of the school’s Pride Center.

“We should not assume someone’s gender by their appearance, nor by what is listed on a roster or in student information systems. Transgender people and people who do not identify within the gender binary may use a different name than their legal name and pronouns of their gender identity, rather than the pronouns of the sex they were assigned at birth,” ze wrote.

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