In July 2006, Wikipedia editor Catamorphism was nominated for administrator status on the website, which requires broad support from the community.
Catamorphism, a genderqueer person who used the pronoun "they" and requested that Wikipedians do likewise, faced significant hostility to their request for correct pronoun usage, including many opinions that their insistance on their choice of pronoun would make them a bad administrator. Catamorphism also faced considerable opposition for having clear political views and tending to edit articles related to those views.
Catamorphism's nomination as an administrator failed, and they have not edited Wikipedia since July 2006.
Pronoun-related quotes from the discussion follow:
- "very strident about word use, objecting to perfectly normal grammar for political reasons"
- "The being harsh about gender pronouns doesn't look good, you can't expect everyone to buy into the validity of genderqueer."
- "I think his insistence that everyone adjust their language (and thus, their personal ideas on sex and gender) to accommodate his supposed gender is incivil and reflects an attitude unbecoming an administrator. He has certainly every right to call himself whatever he wants to, but he has no grounds to request that other people (who can see a man's photograph on his user page) call him anything else but the standard English "he". They might do that out of courtesy (or conviction), once they get to know him, but to insist on it reeks of arrogance."
- "The nomination is fishy. is Catamorphism an individual or a THEY?"
- "Oppose per… perseverations on pronouns. Half a RfA [request for administrator status] devoted to pronouns?! Sheesh."
- "Oppose due to pronoun-related disruption, random accusations of misogyny…"
- "Wikipedia is not the place to change the English language, flawed as it is."
- The archived RfA discussion
- Wayback archive of a blog post of another Wikipedia editor who left the project after Catamorphism's RfA failed.