Yale University, located in New Haven, Connecticut, is a prestigious Ivy League higher education institution founded in 1701. The university is located about two hours from Boston, Massachusetts and about the same distance from New York City, New York. Many prominent figures have attended the university, such as President George W. Bush, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, current Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, and Democratic U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (who represents Connecticut). However, would many of the proud Yale alumni agree with the recent change in student gender identification at their alma mater?
Yale University agreed to institute a change in student identification, where they now list three genders instead of the oft-accepted two genders. Joining the male and female genders at Yale is “non-binary.” The changes can be made through the university’s Student Information System, whose gender options are male (“M:”), female (“F”), or “non-binary” (“N”).
The gender identification policy change came after a petition was launched and asked the university’s president to implement a third gender for transgender students. The president, Peter Salovey, implemented the change this year.
In other words, “non-binary” means that a person does not identify as male or female, but either, both, or of another gender. “Non-binary” could refer to bisexual, lesbian, transgender, queer or other alleged genders. Among academics and society at-large, the terminology for non-heterosexuals has changed over time from cross-dressers and homosexuals to gays, bisexuals, lesbians, transgender individuals, and queers. The oft-cited acronym for this community is “LGBTQIA+,” which includes all the above.