Biden White House Website Adds Gender-Inclusive Options on Day One

January 20, 2021

Mary Emily O’Hara
Rapid Response Manager

Four years after Trump erased all mentions of LGBTQ people from the White House website, the Biden administration takes immediate steps towards inclusion

Shortly after the inauguration and swearing in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the White House website was updated to include gender-inclusive pronouns and prefixes. Now anyone who wants to contact the White House will see “they/them” among other pronouns in a dropdown menu, as well as an “other” option that leads to a self-declaration entry. The prefixes have been updated to include the gender-neutral “Mx.” alongside “Mr.” and “Ms.” as well. 

GLAAD's tweet announcing the change was widely shared on Wednesday afternoon.

“On Day One, the Biden administration has taken immediate steps to include trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people in the conversation,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “Pronouns matter, and adding inclusive pronouns to a contact form is more than just a demonstration of allyship. Research has shown that recognition and respect of our pronouns can make all the difference for our health and wellbeing—especially when it comes to LGBTQ youth.”

The move is a stark contrast to January 2017, when shortly after Trump’s inauguration all mentions of the LGBTQ community were unceremoniously erased from the White House website.

According to 2020 research from the Trevor Project, “Respecting pronouns is part of creating a supportive and accepting environment, which impacts well-being and reduces suicide risk.” 1 in 4 LGBTQ youth use pronouns or pronoun combinations that fall outside of the binary construction of gender, Trevor Project has found.

The singular “they” pronoun was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2019, and is recommended for use without additional explanation by the Trans Journalists Association. A total of 19 U.S. states now offer nonbinary gender markers on IDs and driver’s licenses as well.