Woke row erupts over International Pronouns Day as celebration slammed as 'nonsense'

Trans rights activist wears an earring featuring a 'they' pronoun symbol, during a protest outside the Ministry of Defence Main Building

Trans rights activist wears an earring featuring a 'they' pronoun symbol, during a protest outside the Ministry of Defence Main Building

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Jack Walters

By Jack Walters


Published: 18/10/2023

- 07:15

The day celebrates individuals’ right to choose their own gender identity

International Pronoun Day, which aims to celebrate individuals’ right to choose their own gender identity, has been slammed by critics as just “another woke nonsense initiative”.

The day falls on the third October of each year and began in 2018.


The campaign has no central body and individuals wanting to participate in it are encouraged to make their own resources and events.

The official website for the International Day states: “International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity.

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“Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.

Mark Hoath, from the Reform Party, told GB News his thoughts ahead of the celebration: “To be honest I had no idea it was! Needless to say I won’t be bothering with it.

“In my opinion, it’s just another woke nonsense initiative which adds nothing to the drive for equality in our communities.

“As someone who supports equality initiatives, this type of force-feeding of pronouns creates division rather than bringing people together.”

The campaign falls days after Labour announced that misgendering someone could lead to a prison sentence.

Labour vowed to make attacks motivated by hatred of the victim’s gender identity “aggravated offences” if they came to power.

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This would place transphobic abuse into the same category of racially and religiously motivated assault or harassment.

Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Anneliese Dodds said at the Labour conference: “The Conservatives are failing to protect LGBT+ people with their inability to get a handle on hate crime, including violent hate crime.

“Labour will strengthen the law to ensure the perpetrators of anti-LGBT+ hate can no longer dodge longer sentences. And our fully funded plan to recruit 13,000 more neighbourhood police and community support officers would increase safety for everyone.”

Conservatives fired back at the announcement.

Caroline Ffiske from Conservatives for Women said: “Thousands of women dispute the notion of 'gender identity' and particularly the idea that it should be prioritised over biological sex.

“We have serious and legitimate concerns over being expected, in the workplace, when using public services or in private life, to refer to a man as 'she/her'.

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“Is there a risk with this policy that a woman could be accused of harassment for correctly sexing a man and then for that to be treated as an aggravated offence?”

Last month, Britain’s equality watchdog ruled that schools can now refuse to refer to students by their chosen name or pronouns.

Teachers and staff who misgender trans pupils are now no longer guilty of discrimination, reversing previous guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The watchdog had previously said that referring to a student’s old name or pronouns would be a “direct” discrimination.

The guidance has since been deleted after the commission received many complaints from campaigners.

In Canada, a Human Rights commissioner resigned yesterday after the government said it would pass legislation preventing children under 16 from changing their names or pronouns without parental consent.

Heather Kuttai – who has a trans son – said the policy is something she “cannot be a part of”.

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