Children’s Minnesota is displaying a “pronoun galaxy” at the entrance of its Minneapolis hospital, according to images provided to Alpha News.
“At Children’s Minnesota, you’re a star,” the display reads. Each star on the display includes different pronouns like “she/her,” “they/them,” and “he/his.”
The display apparently went up sometime last month, but Children’s Minnesota did not respond to multiple requests for comment seeking more information. Also last month, a video was posted to the Children’s Minnesota social media pages with Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd discussing pronouns and misgendering children.
“Pronouns are how we acknowledge and affirm someone’s identity,” the caption reads. The video opens with Goepferd asking, “What do parents need to know about pronouns?”
Goepferd explains that pronouns are “usually she or he, sometimes they or them, or sometimes new pronouns that you may not have heard of.”
“Using someone’s pronoun is a way to let them know that you see them, that you understand them, and that you’re going to refer to them in the way that they want to be seen,” Goepferd said.
The video instructs parents that if their child or teen decides to try a new pronoun, “it would be a good idea to try it.”
“The more that we can do as adults, as parents, as teachers, as pediatricians, to respect a child’s name and pronoun, we know that they are going to feel a better sense of self and less anxiety and depression long term,” Goepferd said.
An article published to the hospital’s website from 2020 provides advice to parents about what they should do if a child wants to change their pronouns. “As soon as a child asserts the pronouns that fit best for them, a good response is, ‘Thank you for sharing with me, we will work on using those pronouns. Do you want me to use those always? Only at home? Only with certain people? It’s also important to me that you know that you know best what fits for you, and you can always change your mind,'” the website explains.
In the same article, Goepferd recommends that adults practice introducing themselves with their pronouns. “For us adults, it can feel very odd to do this at first,” she said. “But for a lot of adolescents, this is already very common in their social and peer groups.”
The Children’s Minnesota website also outlines some of the hospital’s guidelines when it comes to providing care to children and respecting their pronouns. “Nurses are also encouraged to offer a name wrist band with their patient’s chosen name and pronouns on it,” the website says.
“Patients still must wear their hospital name band with their MRN, scanning codes, etc. [but] some gender diverse and transgender patients don’t identify with their legal name and they might not like to wear it. Using a blank name band to write their chosen name and pronouns is a simple way to remedy this and provide more inclusive care,” the website says.
Using preferred names and pronouns is “lifesaving,” according to Children’s Minnesota, whose website suggests that not doing so could cause suicidal ideation.
Goepferd is a pediatrician and the medical director of Children’s Minnesota’s controversial Gender Health program. Goepferd was criticized last year for comments that appeared to equate transgender care to treating diabetes and cancer treatment.
Goepferd said that “gender-affirming care” is “just a real basic fundamental level” of health care for kids who need it.
Goepferd has also asserted that children as young as three are able to “know” that they are transgender.
Children’s Minnesota awarded the author of the state’s “trans refuge” law with its annual “Children’s Health Hero award” last year. The law makes Minnesota a “safe haven” for children seeking puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender-reassignment surgeries. Known as the “trans refuge” bill, legal experts who work in the family court system warned that the bill could result in parents losing custody if they don’t consent to “gender-affirming health care” for their children.