Associated Press diplomatic writer Matt Lee confronted a State Department official on the agency adding mandatory pronouns to officials’ emails at Thursday’s briefing.
Lee reported emails sent from the State Department had mandatory pronouns beside the individual’s name, giving them no option to decide whether they add their pronouns.
“Why? This is not an optional thing, this is something that has just been arbitrarily imposed,” Lee said. “I understand that people can have their pronouns attached if they wanted them to a signature before, but this is not something that anyone has a choice about, and so I’m just wondering, why and who made this decision.”
“Well, Matt, I have not seen this phenomenon for myself,” State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel replied.
“Okay, well I have, and I’ll show it to you,” Lee interjected.
“And is it just so — to ask you a question, is it just for internal State Department emails—” he asked.
“Well obviously not,” Lee answered, stating he had received an email from someone in the State Department building with a pronoun attached. (RELATED: KJP Says Trans Community Is ‘Under Attack’)
Lee said the State Department is giving some people the “wrong pronouns” to those who identify by their biological sex.
“The problem is that a lot of them, or at least some of them so far, as far as I’ve been able to tell, are wrong. They’re giving the wrong pronouns. So men are being identified as women and women as men, and this has nothing to do with whatever transgender or anything like that. But, it’s ridiculous,” Lee said.
“This phenomenon has not made its way to my outlook, I’m happy to check on this for you,” Patel said.
“Well, I’ve just told you about it, so can you get an explanation?” the reporter asked.
He then told Patel he is not opposed to people having the choice to include their pronouns by their name, but it should not be something that is imposed on people by the State Department.
“I will look into this, I’m not aware,” Patel said.