". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


State Department Warns Staffers against ‘Misgendering’

February 21, 2024

As the U.S. faces a rapidly deteriorating situation in the Middle East and a worsening crisis at its own southern border, the State Department is ensuring that staffers don’t “misgender” one another. Just days after the U.S. attacked Iran-backed militants in retaliation for the killing of three American troops, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a communique instructing State Department staffers to avoid using “harmful” terminology such as “mother/father,” “son/daughter,” and “husband/wife.”

According to National Review, the memo entitled “Gender Identity Best Practices” was meant to “increase understanding of gender identity and provide guidance on gender identity language and best practices that support an inclusive work environment.”

Blinken’s cable defines gender identity as someone’s “innermost concept of self as masculine, feminine, a blend of both, or neither,” noting that one’s gender identity “may or may not correspond with one’s sex assigned at birth.” The guidance also addressed pronoun use, “Commonly used pronouns could include she/her, he/him, they/them, and ze/zir.” Staffers were encouraged to use pronouns in email signatures and when introducing themselves, even in meetings, “to show respect and avoid misunderstandings.” Staffers were cautioned to remember that gender identity “may be fluid, so remain attuned to and supportive of shifts in pronouns.”

“When speaking, avoid using phrases like ‘brave men and women on the front lines,’” the cable instructed, calling gender-specific terminology “problematic” and cautioning staffers to “use more specific language such as ‘brave first responders,’ ‘brave soldiers,’ or ‘brave DS agents.’” Other terms deemed “problematic” included “manpower,” “you guys,” “ladies and gentlemen,” “mother/father,” “son/daughter,” and “husband/wife.” Instead, Blinken urged, staff should use terms like “labor force,” “everyone,” “folks,” “you all,” “parent,” “child,” and “spouse” or “partner.”

Following an official national security memo signed by President Joe Biden shortly after taking office, the State Department has made gender ideology promotion and enforcement one of its priorities. Last year, Family Research Council published a report detailing the State Department’s LGBT activism via official channels, including funding rainbow-themed projects. According to that report, the State Department has funneled millions of dollars into LGBT activism as a matter of “national security,” including funding drag shows and LGBT film and media projects. The Washington Free Beacon has estimated that the Biden State Department has spent about $5 million on LGBT activism as of June, 2023.

More recently, the State Department funded a program in India to train 30 individuals as “master trainers” to become “LGBTQI+ allies, followed by these master trainers training another 2500 individuals on this theme.” The program was dedicated to “promoting a better understanding of diversity and inclusion and LGBTQIA+ rights” and included sessions on “LGBTQ+ ally training,” “What it means to be an ally,” “Evolution of language/Defining LGBTQ+ language,” “LGBTQ+ history: Worldwide, in the United States, and in India,” and “LGBTQ+ individuals and faith,” among others.

Blinken’s gender ideology cable comes as the U.S. is facing national security threats on multiple fronts and the Biden State Department is struggling to respond to escalating conflict in the Middle East. Experts have also warned that, with Islamist extremism on the rise again, America’s wide-open southern border poses a significant threat as potential terrorists can virtually enter the nation unmolested. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has reportedly already been sending Chinese nationals into the U.S. via the southern border. Yet Blinken chooses to focus on “misgendering.”

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.