Saw this article on Twitter. I haven’t read it thoroughly yet, but I’m hoping it will help. In NSO we have some difficult problems (i.e. deadnames and MDE reporting) that probably won’t go away soon. Still, we can find places to do better.
I am so glad to live at a time when an article like this gets written. Honestly, going after any low-hanging fruit is super helpful.
When I switched careers 10 years ago, I went from using my gendered first name to my more neutral middle name. (At the time I didn’t even know how I was different from other straight women, it was just part of moving towards living a more authentic life.) One of the big things was email. Being “hlgrebe” works fine for me. But if people didn’t know my last name, they weren’t going to find me in their email software by typing “Leslie”. I spent a fair amount of time poking around in my 287 gmail account to see if I could be seen as Leslie; it took a couple years and help from somebody cis-gendered who just doesn’t use their birth name that I could see had successfully changed how their name showed up for me.
I also remember being thrilled in the late 90s the first time I could join an online community (discussion board) where I picked a username and then never indicated my gender. Unlike real life, my posts stood on their own merits without reference to what my body looked like. If you assumed I’m a guy, that’s all it was - an assumption.
Thanks for sharing this.
Funny - the next thing I did after posting this was RSVP to an evite. My name associated with my email showed up “Replying as Heather Grebe” and right next to it was an “edit” button so I could change it to “H.Leslie Grebe”. I suspect that only changed what got posted in the replies seen by participants. Nice!
We do have a process for student accounts in the district even if the chosen name doesn’t correspond at the moment with the students MARSS information. Those changes also funnel into the student’s Moodle account. We also have the ability in the LMS to use alternative names.
Here’s the Moodle documentation. I think we need to have a discussion about what to use since students will not always fill in the Alternative Name field.
For most mono-lingual sites the most efficient setting is "firstname lastname", but you may choose to hide surnames altogether. Placeholders that can be used are: firstname, lastname, firstnamephonetic, lastnamephonetic, middlename, and alternatename.