Berkeley Media Felt The Need To Use Preferred Pronouns In Coverage Of Murder

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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A local newspaper insists on using the pronoun “they” in its coverage of the University of California, Berkeley student who is the prime suspect behind a fatal stabbing Friday night.

Pablo Gomez, Jr., 22, is suspected of stabbing a woman to death Friday in Berkeley and injuring another person during a different incident. He was arrested Saturday in Burbank. (RELATED: Radical Queer Activist Arrested In Murder Of Woman At UC Berkeley)

Berkeleyside, a local independent news outlet with a liberal leaning, is on top of the story. After one of Gomez’s friends reached out to Berkeleyside, the outlet decided to use his preferred pronoun “they” throughout its coverage. The website decided to clarify this with a note in the middle of the story:

According to Gomez Jr.’s Facebook page, they are a UC Berkeley student who lives in Berkeley. [A friend contacted Berkeleyside early Saturday to say Gomez Jr. uses the pronoun “they.”]

Facebook is also on board with the pronoun, since Gomez is referred to as “they” on his personal account.

Screenshot from Gomez's Facebook page.

Screenshot from Gomez’s Facebook page.

So many people used the comment section to make fun of Berkeleyside’s coverage that the moderator had to ban comments on pronouns.

“PLEASE NOTE: Comments about pronouns will not be approved,” the moderator wrote.

Gomez lists his major as “Chicanx/Latinx Studies” on Facebook. As Berkeleyside points out, “the ‘x’ is a gender-neutral ending used to avoid a binary designation.” Several departments and professors at UC Berkeley use the same system on the university’s website.

Gomez is listed as the contact person for the Queer Alliance & Resource Center, an activist group that helps UC-Berkeley’s queer community.

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