San Diego State University has dropped its tradition of electing a homecoming king and queen every year, and decided to have homecoming “royals” to be gender neutral. Some students have criticized the move, calling it “an extreme level of political correctness.”
“I think homecoming is a great setting to have meaningful conversations and understanding about gender equality and ensure events on campus are welcoming and inclusive for all students,” said Christy Nierva Quiogue, director of the Center for Intercultural Relations at the San Diego State University in California, according to the university’s student-run newspaper The Daily Aztec.
During the application process for the homecoming royals, candidates were allowed to select gender-neutral pronouns to identify themselves.
Students are divided over the issue.
“There are students who disagree with it as being politically correct and taking it to sort of an extreme level of political correctness,” OneNewsNow quoted cultural analyst Laurie Higgins as saying. “And then there are other students who very much appreciate the worship of diversity that this new procedure represents.”
She questioned, “Could anyone in this culture say I don’t want to be in a homecoming court with someone of the same sex representing what we all know to be a king and queen? Can you even say that anymore?”
Quiogue added that SDSU is proud of having created a welcoming and educational environment that provides learning opportunities to increase students’ awareness of campus “diversity and inclusion.”
“We are lucky to be on a campus that is really diverse, and so I think having systems in place that reflect the students on campus is a really positive thing,” SDSU Women’s Resource Center Coordinator Jessica Nare told the Aztec. “The reality is we don’t live in a gender-binary system and so really recognizing that in a public way is really important and exciting.”
Some other campuses in the United States have also moved toward gender neutrality, and are allowing gender-neutral pronouns in the general admission process, such as at Harvard University, University of Virginia and the University of California system.
Last year the San Diego University began allowing students to chose their preferred pronoun in the records.
Some businesses are also shifting toward gender neutrality.
In August, the Rev. Franklin Graham spoke out against chain store Target’s announcement that it would stop separating toys and bedding into boys and girls sections.
“I think Target may be forgetting who has made their stores strong. It’s not gender-neutral people out there — it’s working American families, fathers and mothers with boys and girls they love. What’s next? Are they going to try to make people believe that pink or blue baby showers are politically incorrect?” the evangelical leader wrote in a Facebook post.
“I have news for them and for everyone else — God created two different genders. Jesus said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female’ (Matthew 19:4),” he said, adding, “You can’t get any clearer than that.”