One of the unplanned outcomes from the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin,
was that the various discussions over /feeling/ more welcoming in our
language presumptions for non-male contributors made me think about
taking some practical steps on my home project. Commons is lucky that
having a standard policy language of English makes it easier to use
neutral gender in policy statements. I'm taking that further by
proposing that we stick to a neutral gender for all our policies and
help pages. In practice this means that policies avoid using "he or
she" and stick to "they" or avoid using a pronoun at all. I'm hoping
that the outcome will feel like a much more natural space for people
like me that prefer to stay gender neutral, possibly give a slightly
safer feeling to the project by the very act of making the effort, as
well as avoiding an over-emphasis on binary gender when it's pretty
easy to simply avoid it.

Comments are welcome on the specific proposal above, or you may have
ideas for other local projects to do something similar. I'm aware that
this is much more difficult to make progress on in languages such as
German or Spanish that have a presumption of male/female gender within
their vocabulary, so any cases of on-project initiatives in
non-English would be especially interesting. Solving these challenges
is an opportunity to make our projects a leader on gender neutrality,
for example getting a Wikimedia based consensus to adopt terms like

1. "Latinx" is a reaction against using gendered forms Latino and
Latina, in a language that has no neutral gender. This is becoming an
accepted practice in related forums and academic publications.

Wikimedia LGBT+ https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_LGBT/Portal
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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